April Flowers

I suspect that this year the flowers may be a little late in blooming, with the cold weather and so many snow flurries so late in the year.

So let’s see if you can spot any of these beautiful flowers as the weather gets steadily warmer.

Blyton didn’t precede her April Flowers, from the Nature Lover’s Book, with a little note for April so we’re just going to dive right into the flowers!

April Flowers

Marsh marigold: This big buttercup-shaped flower can be found in any damp or marshy place by the hundred. Its big golden blossoms are lovely to see. Notice how glossy the petals are, and what a big bunch of stamens there is. In the centre you will see the green seed-vessels. The stalks are thick and hollow. The leaves are heart-shaped, very smooth and glossy.

Marsh Marigold.

Marsh marigold.

Germander speedwell: The banks are blue with this brilliant-eyed speedwell in April. Look at the four-petalled flowers, very bright blue, and notice the tiny white centre that looks like an eye. The leaves are dark green and hairy. They are oval in shape, and toothed round the edge. They grow opposite one another and have no stalks.

Germander Speedwell.

Germander speedwell.

White dead-nettle: This is a very well-known flower, and should not be mistaken for the stinging-nettle. Look at the snowy-white circle of lipped flowers round the square stem. Notice how the top lip bends over like a little hood. Look for the four stamens in the hood. Notice how prettily the lower lip is fringed. The leaves are rather like those of the stinging nettle in shape, but paler green.

White Dead Nettle

White dead-nettle

Common arum, wake-robin, cuckoo-pint, or lords and ladies: This strange plant is very easy to known for it has a poker-like tongue rising in the centre of a green sheath. The tongue may be dark or light. The sheath is like a monk’s cowl. Below the “poker” or tongue are the stamens and seed-vessels, which can only be seen by tearing away the sheath. The leaves are large and glossy, arrow-shaped and marked with purple  blotches. Look for the spike of brilliant berries in the autumn, when the arum ripens its seeds.

Common Arum

Common arum

Greater stitchwort: This pretty white flower, with its five notched petals, grows along the hedges everywhere in spring. Its white head hangs from a thread-like stalk, and this stitch or thread like stem gives the flower its name. The stem of the plant is weak, and both it and the leaves are bristly. The leaves are rather like blades of grass.

Greater Stitchwort

Greater stitchwort

Lady’s smock, cuckoo flower, or milkmaid: The flowers of this pretty little plant are pale lilac, the colour of old-fashioned smocks. (Sometimes you may find them with white flowers.) Look at the four-petalled flowers growing in a cluster at the end of a stout stalk. Notice that the lady’s smock has two different kinds of leaves – the lower ones are cut open into leaflets, the upper ones are long and narrow.

Cardamine pratensis (Cuckoo Flower or Lady's Smock)

Cardamine pratensis (cuckoo flower or lady’s smock)

Jack-by-the-hedge, or garlic mustard: This flower may be easily found growing in the hedgerows. It has clusters of small, white, four-petalled flowers at the top of its tall stem. The large leaves are heart-shaped, and if you crush them, they smell of garlic.

Garlic Mustard

Garlic mustard

Wood sorrel: This is a dainty, delicate-looking plant, with large, white, pink-tinged flowers. The four petals show very fine veins. Look for the wood sorrel in damp woods. Notice the beautiful leaves, shaped rather like clover leaves. The three leaflets are pink-stalked. The upper-surface is pale green, and the under is pale pink. The wood sorrel has a pretty habit of placing its leaflet back to back in bad weather.


Wood sorrel

Dove’s foot crane’s bill: This little plant may be found on banks by the wayside, its small, pinkish-purple flowers looking up at us as we pass. The pink flowers have five petals which are notched. Notice what happens when the pink petals fall off. The leaves are soft and downy, rounded in shape, and covered with fine hairs. Notice that each leaf is divided into seven parts.

Dove's Foot Crane's- Bill

Dove’s foot crane’s bill

That concludes the April flowers. In between the April showers, why don’t you see if you can find any of the flowers?

Given the weather it might be worth checking for March’s flowers as well! Happy Hunting!

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