Though the weather has been pretty miserable most of this week, I have been seeing more and more wildflowers when I’m out on my wanders.
There will be no big fat juicy red berries from this little strawberry as this is a Barren strawberry (Potentilla sterilis) (it has fruit but they don’t become ‘fleshy and red’). I can tell which species it is from the top of the leaf that’s showing – the ‘terminal tooth’ is shorter than those on either side of it.
Last Sunday I saw my first Bluebells (Hyacinthoides sp.) of the year, almost certainly Spanish or hybrids rather than native Bluebells, but still beautiful to my eye.
I think this is Common stork’s-bill (Erodium cicutarium), a nice surprise growing amongst the grass at Cardiff Bay Wetland Reserve.
Cornsalad is such a dainty little plant, with very delicate, pale blue flowers. I almost missed these growing by the path at Grangemoor Park and have since seen them in a couple of places. This is probably Common cornsalad (Valerianella locusta), but the only way to be sure it’s not one of the other four varieties is to check the fruit, which won’t be possible till later in the season.
This is Danish scurvygrass (Cochlearia danica), originally a seaside plant that has now become widespread by following the road-salting trucks along the roads of Britain.
Gorse (Ulex sp.) never seems to stop flowering, though the truth is that there are two Gorse species and, when one stops flowering, the other takes over.
These Grape hyacinth (Muscari sp.) have become naturalised in my local cemetery, probably spreading from one or two deliberate grave-top plantings, or from nearby home gardens. I love their blue.
Petty spurge (Euphorbia peplus) is a very common little wildflower that’s often overlooked.
Spotting this flowering Ragwort by the roadside near Cardiff Bay was a bright surprise. It’s probably Common ragwort (Senecio jacobaea).
Red dead-nettle (Lamium purpureum). I’m a big fan of all the dead-nettles – the ‘dead’ in their name refers to the fact that they aren’t covered in stinging hairs!
Allium triquetrum, the Three-cornered leek, is a pretty, if somewhat smelly flower but considered an alien invasive plant species here in Britain.
I caught the train to Barry Docks last Friday, hoping to get a good look at an uncommon bird (a Great northern diver) that had been making itself at home there for the previous week or so.
Unfortunately, the bird spent most of the two hours I was there happily swimming and diving several hundred yards away on the other side of the dock, but it was a gloriously sunny day and I did find lots of lovely wildflowers still in bloom around the edge of the docks so I was happy.
As the summer progresses so, too, do the varieties of wildflowers that add colour to the roadside verges, beautify patches of waste ground, light up drab spots along hedgerows, adorn the edges of the trails I regularly walk, and sparkle in the conservation areas at my local cemetery.
These are some that have caught my eye in the past couple of weeks: Fox-and-Cubs (Pilosella aurantiaca), Yellow loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris), Ox-eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare), Field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis), Wood forget-me-not (Myosotis sylvatica), Hedge woundwort (Stachys sylvatica), Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus), White clover (Trifolium repens), Common comfrey (Symphytum officinale), Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea), Common honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum), and the last, I think, is Lesser stitchwort (Stellaria graminea).