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Many of the local wildflowers currently in bloom have small, white flowers. These are some of them …

200719 fairy flax

Fairy flax (Linum catharticum): this is the smallest, a tiny delicate plant that appears to shake and quiver even in the lightest breeze. It is also known as Purging flax as, in past times, herbalists prescribed it as a laxative.

Hedge bedstraw (Galium mollugo): not the bedstraw that was used to sweeten the smell of straw mattresses (which is the yellow-flowered Lady’s bedstraw), but its close cousin, which can be found scrambling along hedgerows, particularly on calcareous soils.

Eyebright (Euphrasia sp.): I didn’t know until I checked this plant on the Plantlife website that the various species of Eyebright are semi-parasitic, stealing the nutrients of other plants, like grasses.

200719 common mouse ear

Common mouse-ear (Cerastium fontanum): A type of chickweed, which many gardeners will know as a persistent ‘weed’, this little plant gets its mouse-ear name from its hairy leaves that grow in pairs on either side of the plant’s stem.

200719 common centaury (1)

Common centaury (Centaurium erythraea) is usually pink flowered (see the variations below) but many of the plants I see locally, like those above, have white flowers. The Plantlife website gives the fascinating information that centaury is ‘named after the centaur Chiron, who, according to legend, discovered its healing power and used it to cure himself from the effects of a poisoned arrow.’