In between the corrections of the reports of my students in the course on forest types, I took some free time roaming through little forest patches in the southern half of Flanders, close to the capital.
It was in one of these patches that I stumbled on a nice surprise, early on an otherwise normal spring morning in May. The surprise was called wood garlic and was preceded by an unmistakable fragrance. Following my nose, I found whole forest floors filled with this nice wild garlic plant with its white starry flowers.
For a guy who spent his whole life in Antwerp in the north of Flanders, these forests filled with wood garlic are an uncommon sight. The species prefers loamy nutrient-rich soils right outside seeping areas; conditions that are hard to find in my home region.
And that is a pity, cause this species represents a highly valuable forest type with a wonderful feel (and smell!) But be quick if you still want to see their delicate beauty this year, cause most of the little white stars are fading to green at the moment of writing.
The students did a fine job with their reports, although they, too, seemed to struggle with the borders of the different forest classification. If you move ten meters, and your understory changes completely to the complete other side of the spectrum, this task is indeed not an easy one.