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I’m not even going to try to put a name to this little flower except to say it’s an Eyebright, one of around 20 very similar (and 60-plus hybrid) species of Euphrasia. They’re pretty and very dainty little plants, though easily overlooked as they’re don’t grow very tall and so are often obscured by surrounding grasses and overwhelmed by other wildflowers.

180907 eyebright (1)

According to Richard Mabey’s Flora Britannica: ‘Their name and old medicinal use are a classic example of the Doctrine of Signatures. The flowers, like tiny violets in shape, are mottled with purple and yellow blotches and stripes, not unlike the colours of a bruised eye, and compresses and tinctures made from them were prescribed for all manner of eye disorders.’