Spring is a good time to discover wildflowers, whether on your daily commute or taking a ramble through the countryside. Here are a few of the flowers I noticed on a recent woodland walk and some information about these wildflowers. Primroses: These flowers are found in meadows, on roadsides and on the banks of streams.
Gorse: These flowers can be found all year. The yellow flowers are coconut scented. The shoots used to be used as cattle fodder by peasants who had no grazing land. The brown pods shoot pollen explosively, so gorse spreads across uncultivated land.
Dandelions: The common name, dandelion, translates to dent-de-lion in French, and means “the lion's tooth”.
Daisies: Can be known as ‘day’s eye’ or marguerite. They have a long history of medical use, including the treatment of wounds and the easing of throat infections.
Daffodils: I also found some late daffodils. These much loved spring flowers are mentioned in a poem by William Wordsworth: "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" - "When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees..."
Bluebells: In a peaceful woodland glade I came across a carpet of bluebells. These blue woodland flowers are at their best in mid to late April.
Nearby were some wood anemones: These flowers only open in sunlight and their heads follow the direction of the sun.
Dead nettles: These do not sting (unlike stinging nettles) and are a member of the mint family.
Violets: These are very small, delicate flowers found in shady areas.
Other flowers to look out for at this time of year include Lady’s Smock, Germander Speedwell, Ivy Leaved Toadflax and Ground Ivy.
I enjoy spotting the many different types of wildflowers on my walks. There’s always something new to see. I hope this has inspired you to look out for wildflowers on your next walk.
Reference ‘Wildlife of Britain - The definitive visual guide’ RSPB (2008), Dorling Kindersley Ltd.