Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #57 Rayless Mayweed or Pineapple-weed

This hardy little plant is another wayside wanderer. Pineappleweed was first cultivated in Britain in 1784, according to the entry in the Online Atlas of British and Irish Flora, but within a hundred years it naturalised in the wild and has become completely at home. The flower-heads, and to a lesser extent the soft and […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #56 Selfheal, Allheal or Prunella

Like its relatives such as Ground Ivy or Deadnettles, pretty purple-flowerd All-heal attracts a range of bees and other insects whose tongues are the right length to reach into its flowers’ elegant throats. The Mint family also has very interesting biochemistry and many species manufacture a great variety of substances which can be made use […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #51 Lime Tree or Linden

This large forest tree fills the Midsummer air with delicious fragrance as tens of thousands of creamy yellow flowers attract insects from across a wide area to feast on its abundant nectar. The blossom is traditionally gathered by many people around Europe to prepare the famous Linden or Tilleul tea. If you look closely you […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #48 Lady’s Bedstraw

With its whorls of dark-green almost needle-like leaves and frothy heads of very small, four-petalled yellow flowers, Lady’s Bedstaw is a delicate plant which you might never even notice, growing amongst the grass as it often is, until it’s in full bloom (closer up here). You’ll see a similarity with its relative the Goosegrass aka […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #43 Fumitory

With its delicate, pale green lacy foliage and pink and purple tubular flowers (close-up here), Fumitory resembles the related ornamental Bleeding Heart plant seen in gardens.  It has been used by herbalists, and the flowers can give a yellow dye for wool. Fumitory is very much a plant of disturbed ground and you’ll often see […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #42 Stinging Nettle

Nettles are so closely associated in many people’s minds with wildlife that there’s now even a book called “No Nettles Required: the Truth about Wildlife Gardening” reassuring us that there are plenty of ways to be eco-friendly without needing to cover our gardens with stingers! Nevertheless, the common nettle is a very useful plant. In […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #38 Hedge Mustard

This unmistakably gawky looking plant is called hedge mustard, seen here near the Bradlaugh Fields barn. Like all its relatives in the cabbage family, including garlic mustard and lady’s smock, it has four petals, cross-shape (as illustrated in this botanical drawing). In the case of hedge mustard the petals are yellow. In many places the […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #37 Salad Burnet

If you stop for a sit-down in the Hills and Holes and you get a whiff of cucumber then there’s probably a salad burnet plant somewhere around. Look out for the long leaf stalks with a dozen or more leaflets on each, and the flowerheads which look like small multi-sided balls (about 1cm diameter) with […]

Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #22 Common Sorrel

Growing in tufts of shiny dark-green leaves on the main grassland area you’ll find the common sorrel is just sending up the first red-green budding flower-spikes which look very much like a mini version of the dock plant, or their giant red-stemmed relative the rhubarb. As the summer progresses, the spikes elongate up to a […]