Geology, topography, soils and late snow-lie mean that Grey Mare’s Tail shares many similarities with upland Highland vegetation communities, deservedly giving it a reputation of being one of the best sites in southern Scotland for upland plants.

Colour is provided early in the year on the side of the waterfall itself, with purple saxifrage trailing down precarious rocky sections. At the end of summer the moorland becomes a blaze of purple as the heather flowers.

While dedicated wildflower enthusiasts will surely want to venture into remoter parts of the reserve to seek out scarcer species like dwarf cornel, alpine saw-wort, pale forget-me-not and the extremely rare fern oblong woodsia, there are many botanical delights to be seen close to the managed paths. Globeflower, starry saxifrage, thyme, roseroot, lesser twayblade, heath speedwell and bell heather are just a few that can be seen from the Loch Skeen path. On the moorland around the loch, cloudberry flowers abundantly and its bright orange-red fruits provide a vibrant splash of colour in July.