This ancient woodland indicator species is often elusive, camouflaged in a sea of Dog's Mercury. But many of the Gower Ash Woodlands have it and it is in flower now. It's a fabulous plant with a memorable name. But the apparent reference to the French capital is misleading. The name Paris here is derived from the latin, pares, which alludes to the symmetry of the leaves (in 2 pairs). Occasionally, however, you'll find an individual with 5 or more leaves. Where you find it, there's often a group of individuals that arise from an underground rhizome and individual clones probably live a very long time. The fruit is a small berry, but it rarely generates from seed. For that reason its dispersal abilities are poor, which makes it a good indicator species. It is rather rare in Wales and is more or less confined to woodlands on basic soils (i.e. limestone). It likes shade much more than bluebell or wood anemone and, unlike those two common species, it usually shows a negative response to coppicing. Herb Paris is closely related to the wake robins (Trillium species) which occur in North American forests. (Photograph and notes by Charles Hipkin).