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New Quay Wales

The flowers of the Coastal Path

Demanding Conditions

Coastal plants in Ceredigion - especially those on the sea cliffs and on the thin soils above are in many ways much like Alpine plants. They are often exposed to strong winds so they tend to be small and ground hugging. They must also be able to tolerate the often considerable salt spray. Many of them are tiny gems - easily missed unless you look carefully. Some of the larger plants, fleshy and thick-leaved are found on shingle banks and dunes close to the beach. They are all salt tolerant, have wide root systems to catch the rain which rapidly drains away, and thick leaves and stems for water storage.
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One of the most abundant and colourful coastal flowers, Thrift is called Clustog Fair in Welsh - Mary's pillow. It is also known as Sea Pink, Rock Rose and Our Ladies Cushion. Thrift was used as an emblem on the threepenny-bit between 1937 and 1953 - the Royal Mint no doubt aware of the double meaning in its name.

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Sea Campion

A pretty white flower with distinctive fleshy leaves, Sea Campion is related to the carnation. Sea Campion grows above cliffs and amongst shingle, and flowers from June to August.

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Sea Mayweed or Sea Chamomile

The flowers appear between July and September. Flowerheads are up to 45mm across and look very much like large daisies. They are flattish when first open, but become conical as they age. The flowers have yellow centres (disc florets) and white petals. .Disc-florets form a hemispherical dome. Ray florets often swept backwards slightly..

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Marsh Orchid

Not really a coastal plant, but found in the damp grassy area above Castell Bach - Little Castle, a Celtic iron age settlement and promontory hill fort which dates to about 300 BC which is between Cwmtydu and New Quay.

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Pennywort or Navelwort favours old stone walls and rock crevicces. In the stonecrop family, Crassulaceae, Navelwort gets its scientific name, Umbilicus, from to the ‘belly button’ in the middle of the leaf. The name Pennywort refers to the leaves slight penny like shape.

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Buckshorn Plantain

Buckshorn or Stagshorn Plantain gets its name from the antler-like shape of the leaves. It can be cultivated as a sald leaf and is sweeter and nuttier than spinach and with a slight taste of parsley. However, plants on the coastal path should not be collected by foragers.

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Rock Samphire

This is another edible plant, also known as Sea Fennel, that grows in some profusion on the eastern side of New Quay pier. It is quite different from the Marsh Samphire, which grown on salt marshes. Rock Samphire is rich in vitamin C, vitamins E and K, iodine, carotenoids and flavonoids. It is also rich in antioxidants and in omega-3 fatty acids.

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Sea Beet

Sea Beet is related to beetroot, sugar beet and swiss chard and is a member of the Amaranthaceae family. It is not found on the cliffs but may be seen in sandy or marshy areas where the coast path descends to the shoreline.

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Sea Spurrey

It grows on cliffs, rocky places and walls close to the sea, all around the coast of Wales. It is an insignificant plant and easily messed.

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Stonecrop .

Stonecrop is a tiny gem with white star shaped flowers. It is very low growing and well adapted to its environment with thick fleshy leaves to store water .

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The Teasel is a tall spiny plany that can be found growing on the foreshore between Aberarth and Aberaeron. There is a 'Teasel gig' in the National Wool Museum at Drefach Felindre, near Newcastle Emlyn. Around 3,000 Teasel seed heads are held in an iron frame. The new wool cloth passes over the teasels and the spiny Teasels give the wool a more even, fluffy appearance.



Valerian is common in the New Quay area and attracts many butterflies during the summer. It has traditionally been used for a variety of herbal remedies for sleeping disorders and anxiety. It has a distinctive odor that many find unpleasant

The Countryside Code was introduced back in 2004 to encourage people to protect the natural environment by taking care to not damage, destroy or remove features such as flowers, trees, rocks and plants. Many wild plants are also protected under the 1981 Countryside Act.

Nant y Gido
New Quay
Ceredigion SA45 9TR


Phone:  01545 561707