Gosh it seems only yesterday I was tapping away at the computer to give you July’s flowers, and now we’re almost at the end of August! Blimey! Where has the time gone?
Never mind, lets get on shall we?
Knapweed: You may perhaps think knapweed is a thistle that has no prickles, for it has a red-purple head rather like that of a thistle, set in a hard green ball that will remind you of a fir-cone. The leaves are usually lance -shaped, set on a tought, tall stalk.
Ragwort: This coarse, tough plant has clusters if small yellow daisies growing at the top of the tall stems. You will find it growing almost everywhere, especially in waste places. Notice the shiny leaves, cut up into dark green feathers.
Hawkbit: Look for the hawkbit in fields and waste places. The heads of yellow flowers will remind you a little of the dandelion. Look for the swollen hollow part below the yellow head. Notice the rosette of long, strap-shaped leave set with coarse teeth.
Stinging-Nettle: All boys and girls are sure to know this plant, and to dislike it because of the painful stings its dark leaves give them! Look for the green flowers that grown between the leaves and the stem.
Yellow Toadflax: This pretty little snapdragon-like flower can be seen everywhere in the summer, along the wayside and in the corners of fields. It has bright yellow, “bunny-mouth” flowers in a spike. Look for the orange mouth. The leaves are long and narrow.
Nipplewort: You may find this slender branching plant, topped by small, yellow danelion-like flowers growing everywhere now. Notice the little green cup under each flower-head.
Harebell: The dainty blue harebell (which is the bluebell of Scotland) is common on all heaths and moors now. Look at the five petals joined together to make a beautiful bell. Notice the two kinds of leaves – narrow, pointed ones on the main stem, and rounded ones, toothes at the margins, lower down. Perhaps we should spell harebell as hair-bell, because the stalks are almost hair-like in their thin wiriness.
Field Scabious: You will think that the flower of the mauve field scabious looks like a soft pin-cushion. Look for it in dry places. It is tall, and many tiny flowers are crowded together in the round flower-head. Notice the frill of the petal-straps round the edge of the flower-head. The leaves are feather-shaped, cut up into long fingers.
Persicaria: This is a very common field and garden weed. The flowers are usually pink, in short spikes, but sometimes you will find them white or green. The leaves are lance-shaped, and sometimes have dark brown marks on them.
St John’s Wort: This is a very showy yellow flower, tall and handsome. Look for it on the hedge-banks, or in dry places. The flower has five pale-yellow pointed petals, and looks starry when open. Notice whether there are any black dots on the petals, and notice also that flower-stalks grow opposite one another in pairs. The many stamens are in bundles, not set round the centre of the flower in a ring. The leaves are oval in shape with smooth edges, and grow in pairs opposite one another. Hold up the leaves to the light and notice the many clear dots all over them. This is an easy way of telling the St John’s Wort.
Fumitory: The common fumitory can be found almost everywhere in the summer. It is a low-growing plant, because it’s stem is weak and cannot hold the plant up. The rosy-purple flowers that grow loose in clusters. Notice the flowers carefully and see the little pink tongue that stands out. The gre-green leaves are finely cut up and very pretty.
Tansy: This yellow button-like flower can be found in any waste place, and is easy to know. It looks like a daisy that has had all its outer petals pulled off, leaving only the round yellow middle. It has a stiff, straight stem, branching into flower-spikes. The feather-shaped leaves look a little like fern fonds. Crush the leaves and smell the strong scent.
Right, so there you have them. August’s flowers!
Happy hunting everyone!