Colonsay and Oronsay are also a rich source
of interest for the plant lover. The woodland gardens surrounding
Colonsay House contain an enormous variety of exotic rhododendrons,
as well as mimosa, eucalyptus and palm trees and many other small
plants that benefit from the shelter of the trees and the mild
April, May and June are the best times to
appreciate the woodland gardens. On Wednesdays during the summer the
private formal gardens immediately surrounding Colonsay House are
also opened to the public.
The hills, moorlands and shore offer
impressive botanical interest and beauty throughout the year. The
list of indigenous island plants is long and includes, of special
interest, more than 30 species of fern.
Rarer plants can be seen on the island,
too, such as Sea Samphire, Marsh Helleborine and the Orchis,
Spiranthes romanzoffiana, which was first found at Uragaig on
Colonsay in 1930.
In spring, there are beautiful swathes of
bluebells and primroses and, in summer, you can see heath orchids,
wild roses, honeysuckle and fuchsia. In the later months of summer,
the island is resplendent with yellow irises and heather.