So this is my last flowery post! We have come full circle in Enid Blyton’s Nature Lovers’ Book and my poor copy is looking rather worse for wear. (I think I’m going to have to replace it! It’s that poorly!)
So here we are, the last set of flowers!
- Field gentian: Look for this lilac-blue flower in damp pastures. Scottish children will know it better than children in the south. Notice the four lilac-blue petals, joined together at the bottom to form a tube, and opening out wider at the top, where they fold back. Notice the pretty blue fringe in the flower. The leaves are dark green, growing in pairs, tapering to a point.
Chicory: Although this bright-blue flower can be found earlier, it is quite common in October, though there are many districts were it cannot be found. Where it grows in the county of Suffolk, for instance, it is very common. Look for it by the wayside and in dry places. The found flower-heads have a ring of strap-shaped petals. The stem is tough. Notice the two different kinds of leaves.
- Meadow saffron, or autumn crocus: If you are lucky enough to live in a district where this lovely mauve flower is common, you will find it in damp meadows in England. You will not find any leaves, because these came up in the early summer and withered away. You will think that the flower is very like a crocus, but it really belongs to the lily family. Look for the six pretty stamens.
- Field madder: Look for this low-growing little plant in cultivated fields. The small flowers are pale mauve in colour, the four tiny petals spreading like a star. Notice the four to six – pointed leaves growing in whorls round the stem.
- Broad-leaved dock: You will probably know the green-flowered dock, because you use its large, cool, lower leaves to sooth out hand when a nettle stings it. Notice the bit spikes of green flowers, tinged with red. The flowers grow in circles round the stem. The upper leaves are lance-shaped. This plant will probably remind you of its cousin, the sorrel.
- Common eyebright: This little plant flowers in the summer as well as the autumn. Look for it in fields, heaths and pastures. The flowers are usually pale lilac, tinged with pink. They are small, and joined into a tube that opens into two lips. The dark-green, crinkly leaves grow opposite each other in pairs, and are oval in shape.
So there we are! Your October flowers, and the last in the series! Enjoy!