Coast Path flowers.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Marsh Orchid
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 between Cwmtydu and New Quay.


Pennywort or Navelwort favours old stone walls and rock crevices. In the stonecrop family, Crassulaceae. The name Pennywort refers to the leaves slight penny like shape.

Buckshorn Plantain

Buckshorn or Stagshorn Plantain gets its name from the antler-like shape of the leaves. It can be cultivated as a salad leaf and is sweeter and nuttier than spinach and with a slight taste of parsley.

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. Rock Samphire is rich in vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in antioxidants and in omega-3 fatty acids.

Sea Beet
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.

Sea Spurrey
Sea Spurrey

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

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 .


The Teasel is a tall spiny plany that can be found growing on the foreshore between Aberarth and Aberaeron. They were used to 'Teaze' wool to give 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.

Kidney Vetch
Kidney Vetch .

Kidney vetch provides food for a number of beetle and moth larvae but, most importantly, is the sole food plant for the caterpillars of the small blue butterfly .

Common Mallow

The French word for mallow is 'mauve', which is where we get the word for the colour mauve from.

Bittersweet / Woody Nightshade.

Bittersweet is a nightshade, so is toxic; its bright red berries may be tempting, but can cause serious illness. .

West Wales Cottages / West Wales Caravans - Nant y Gido, New Quay SA45 9TR

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