Native Origin Irish Wildflower Seed Mixtures: Ecotype Range 

Product Code:  EC08 - A Bespoke mixture made to site requirements.
Product Name: 
Esker Ridge
Burren Type Wild Flora.
This is a very specific mixture of the most beautiful flora ideally suited to the
Burren Type floras and glacial Eskers and Esker Ridges that were deposited by glacial rivers across Ireland, especially in the Midlands. This mixture attracts butterflies.
Ideal for North Clare on Limestone. If you live on a undulating landscape on sandy-stony soil north of Tullamore, all the way to Lough Rea, East Galway or in West Meath, particularly north of Athlone, south of Roscommon or south of Mullingar or Northeast of Kilkenny, then you are probably on an Esker Ridge and have to deal with a dry, light sandy Esker soil.  Occasionally Eskers have wet spots especially where gravel and sand was removed. Glacial deposits are even found throughout Ireland in isolated areas, this mixture may also be suitable. With some maintenance even native Orchids may flourish on suitable sites.

Species List: Esker Ridge Wild Flora EC08

Birdsfoot Trefoil
Black Meddick
Bladder Campion
Burnet Saxifrage*
Corn Marigold
Corn Pansy
Corn Poppy
Field Poppy (long headed)*
Field Scabious
Greater Knapweed*
Hoary Plantain
Kidney Vetch
Lady's Bedstraw
Lesser Knapweed
Scentless Mayweed
Ox-eye Daisy
Red Bartsia*
Red Clover
Ribwort Plantain
Rough Hawksbit
Shepherds Purse
Smooth Hawksbit
St Johnswort
Weld -Yellow weed
Wild Carrot
White Campion
Wood Avens
Yellow Agrimony 
Yellow Rattle*
White Stonecrop
Nottingham Catchfly*
Fairy Foxglove
Quaking Grass 
Salad Burnet 
Biting Stonecrop
Fairy Flax*
Lesser/Yellow Clover 'shamrock'


the 'Ballest Fiels'Athlone, sadly this field is no longer, due to the field being infilled.

*Denotes a species that is either of diminished national geno-type or specific to only a few sites, or who's habitat is increasingly threatened, or the species is uncommon, rare, becoming rare, is endangered, reintroduced or saved from extinction.
In all cases, your purchase contributes to DBN's work of creating crops of Conservation Grade - Native Origin Wildflora. You help us to inform and pay land-owners to manage native species and to assist DBN in handing on our heritage for another generation.
By growing (some will be difficult) these and all other species, you directly help to conserve national and global Biodiversity and protect wildlife. You should also consider yourself another Irish wildflower grower.


Fairy Foxglove, an introduced species established on an Esker


Product Warning: While this Ecotype mixture contains the seed of edible and herbal species, DBN recommend that this mixture is not for human or animal consumption as it contains species such as Corncockle which is toxic if ingested. Wild Parsnip can irritate the skin. 


Seed Mixture Specifications: Total number of seeds per gram: 2810
Native Irish Origin, Wildflower Seed Mixture. EC08
Suitable for soil type: Sand, Light Soil and Quarries 
Moisture Level: Very Dry, Dry, Normal, Occasionally Moist, but not Flooded Wet
pH range: Best between 6.5 >7.9
Aspect: Sunny, occasional shade and not deeply shaded.

Life Cycle: Annual / Biennial / Perennial. 
Height Range: <30cm to >100cm 
Flowering Period:  March to September, but may falter in very dry summers, however species will recover.
Fertility Range: Will grow slowly in very poor soil, if very infertile apply fertiliser (see below).
Wintergreen: No, if required sow with grasses
The main species which should dominate and persist in this mixture if the ground is kept free of rough grass : Birdsfoot Trefoil, Black Meddick, Bladder Campion, Burnet Saxifrage, Cowslip, Field Scabious,  Hoary Plantain, Kidney Vetch, Lady's Bedstraw, Lesser Knapweed, Marjoram, Ox-eye Daisy, Red Clover, Ribwort Plantain, Rough Hawksbit, Selfheal,  St Johnswort, White Campion, Wood Avens, Yarrow, Yellow Agrimony, Salad Burnet. 
Annual Species: Centaury, Yellow Rattle, Eyebright, Red Bartsia, Yellow Rattle, Corn Chamomile, Corn Marigold, Corn Poppy, Field Poppy (long headed), Corncockle, Cornflower, Scentless Mayweed, Shepherds Purse, Nipple Wort
Biennial Species: Burdock, Mullein, Wild Carrot, Wild Parsnip, Weld -Yellow weed,
Rare, unusual, and feature species: Fairy Foxglove, Fairy Flax, Lesser/Yellow Clover 'shamrock', Primrose, Quaking Grass, Smooth Hawksbit, Biting Stonecrop, Greater Knapweed, White Stonecrop, Nottingham Catchfly. 
Species which will grow if the conditions are ideal: All, this mixture suits mainly limy dry sandy well drained soils. In some cases moisture will be tolerated and individual species may thrive such as Rattle and Trefoil.
Species which will be affected by management: Red Bartsia and  Yellow Rattle, if left uncut will not persist. Bluebell will need shade from shrub or overhanging trees. White Campion will establish if there is erosion or a sunny open dry microclimate. 
Additional species which could be added to this mixture as individual species of seeds or plants: Blackstonia. Occasional woodland of Ash and Hazel under planted with Bluebell. Stand alone thorn bushes and Scots

  Pine would all help improve this ecosystem.

Design Notes: EC08 is one of my favourite seed mixtures, it flowers over a long time, is very colourful rich in th Scabious Family and attracts butterflies.  Grasses should be carefully chosen and if at all possible, source them locally, by getting spoil from quarries and spreading it before sowing EC08.


Flora growing on a dry sandy Esker


Sowing Specification: As Normal, roll or rake into surface to keep out of reach from birds. Sow this mixture in Autumn and early Spring so the seed can germinate before the soil dries out.


Soil Preparation: To establish, especially since it will be sown on low nutrient soils, fertiliser or weed free organic matter may be required to aid germination. 
Optimum Sowing Time: Late spring, early autumn, when the soil is damp.

Sowing Conditions: Normal. protect from rabbit as germination emerges in 6th to 10 week after sowing
Sowing Method: By hand is recommended, if using seed spreaders be careful to insure the small varieties of seed do not drop to the bottom of the seed spreader and get sown all in the one place. Can be Hydrasown. 


Flora growing on a moist soil over an Esker

Fertiliser: Yes, on pure Esker soils to aid establishment, once established no fertiliser will be required., Powdered or liquid seaweed will aid germination. 


Seed Sowing Rates: 1.5 grams per metre.
Normal sowing rate 'without added grass seed':1.5 grams per metre.
High sowing rate 'without added grass seed': Add 3 grams per metre.

Grass seed or nurse crop requirement:

Nurse Crop: No nurse crop is required. 
Grass Seed Requirement: Locally sourced grasses from the eskers or Common Bent, Meadow Grass, Meadow Foxtail, Fescues, Sweet Vernal Grass and Oat Grass.
Sow with or without grasses: Either 
Sowing rate with grasses: 2 to 4 grams per metre. 50% Flora / 50% grass seed, or up to 80% grass at 6 to 7 grams per metre where erosion may occur.

If sown without grasses: This mixture will not require a nurse crop.

Seed Specification:  
In normal conditions (mainly in early Autumn and Spring) this mix should germinate 6 to 10 weeks after sowing, from then on provided the sward is kept open and a 'Thatch' is not allowed develop, species will continue to germinate and emerge, through to the third year.
Up to 60% of all seed should germinate in the first year.
Up to 50% of all species should germinate in 12 months. 
Up to 90% of all species should have flowered by the fourth year after sowing.


Performance: Attracts many butterfly species.

If this mixture is sow with annuals, or contains annuals, they will flower profusely in the first year, provided they are sown before June. They require one cut when finished flowering. In the second year the biennials will also be very colourful. Cut once in late August.
In the third year this meadow mixture will seem to have less flora than the first and second year. Why? 
The perennial species are still young, many will only have germinated in the second season, so flowers will be sparse. However, there should be identifiable foliage and some flowers. If not contact us. 
In the second and third the native grasses in your soil will have grown and will be emerging so strongly that the meadow will require two cuts, one in Spring and the Second in July or August, the meadow can again be cut in September if the grasses are still growing strong. 

When should this meadow be established and require one cut.
In the fourth year the perennials in the mixture should be flowering on many stems and starting to clump and spread, again if the grass is still vigorous cut in spring and in August of the fourth year. However if the perennials are growing strong there will be no need to cut until July, August or September depending on the fertility and wetness of the soil and the species which have grown.

A wildflower meadow should last many years, provided the species established, weeds were controlled and the meadow was cut and the cut material removed and occasional 'Gaps' are created. If not contact DBN.

Persistence if unmanaged: High, the dryness of the soil should control vigorous growth, watch out for shrub and tree species in no cut situations. 
Tolerance of Cutting: High
General Cutting Time: Mid to end of Summer. Cutting may be hazardous on steep slopes.
Specific Cutting Time: Wait 3 weeks until after the last flush of flowers fade away, after seeds set.

Management: Control grasses and weeds until well established.

Most species in this mixture are 'Browse' resistant. Encourage rabbit once flora is established.


A General Description of this product and the 'Ecotype' Range: 
Ecotype seed mixtures are designed to imitate natural ecologies found in specific situations. EC08 is intended as an exact copy of an Irish Esker, many of the species were sourced by DBN from Esker Ridges since the 1980's and reproduced in our nurseries.

This range of seed mixture is ideal for those concerned with encouraging wildlife and local biodiversity as the plants will attract species suited to the ecology. 
If this mixtures is suitable for your situation, it offers good value, contains some of the most exacting and unusual species and if given time, develop into a diverse flora that will persist if properly maintained.