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).
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.
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