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This was the third highlight of my visit to Slade Wood on Wednesday, a plant I’d never seen before. It wasn’t too difficult to identify once I got home, as the flowers looked a lot like those of Forget-me-not so I turned straight to that section of my wildflower guide. Say hello to Common gromwell (Lithospermum officinale) (also known as European stoneseed).

230521 common gromwell (1)

It’s a perennial, flowers from May to August, and is quite prominent in the landscape, a rough hairy plant growing up to one metre tall, so must’ve been in situ during my previous visits to this woodland. Perhaps I was so focused on butterflies, I didn’t notice it. Woodland rides – and rough, stony scrubby areas – are where this native plant thrives, but only in the southern parts of Britain, so any northerners out there will have to come south to see it.

230521 common gromwell (2)