Spring is really starting to ramp up a notch now – shame we can’t get out and enjoy more time in the wild world. Still, if I choose the right route for my daily exercise walk, I can still hear the birds and see the flowers, and I appreciate them now even more than I usually do. Here’s a catch up with the latest plants I’ve found in flower this week.
Cleavers (Galium aparine) : I’m sure everyone has their own favourite among the wide variety of common names for this plant: Sticky Bob, Kisses, Goosegrass are just a few – take your pick, or tell me what you call it.
I’m lumping these two together as a comparison: on the left is Cowslip (Primula veris) and on the right is False oxlip (Primula veris x vulgaris), the hybrid of Cowslip and Primrose. I’ve previously had trouble identifying these correctly but one clue I’ve read recently is that Cowslip flowers all nod in a single direction, whereas False oxlips flop around in all directions.
Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) : these lovely plants seem almost to have sprung up overnight under every local hedgerow. You may know them by one of their vernacular names, Jack-by-the-hedge.
Lords-and -ladies (Arum maculatum), another plant with a ‘Jack’ vernacular name, in this case Jack-in-the-pulpit. I’ve seen so many leaves of these plants and quite a few sheathed flowers but, this week, I finally saw some open flowers.
Yellow archangel (Lamium galeobdolon) : these may well have been a garden escape as they were growing along a lane near a large area of allotments but I’m still counting them. From their appearance, it’s easy to tell that these are part of the Dead-nettle family (my favourite kinds of nettles!).
Ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea) : I found these decorating the edges of the same lane as the Yellow archangel, down low beneath the brambles and assorted shrubs and bushes. And, also like the Yellow archangel, Ground ivy is a member of the Dead-nettle family.