British wildflowers, Bush vetch, Common vetch, Herb Bennet, Oxeye daisy, Ragged robin, Russian comfrey, Wood avens
Time to catch up on which wildflowers are currently flowering in the waysides …
I often see the mottled purplish flowers of Bush vetch (Vicia sepium) in the wonderfully scruffy areas on the edges of roads and paths.
Often accompanying its Bush cousin, the Common vetch (Vicia sativa) has a delicate pink, often single flower, very much like the popular garden plant the Sweet pea, to which it is also related.
There’s something innately cheerful about the Oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare), which also goes by the common names of Dog daisy, Horse daisy, Moon daisy and Moonpenny (I almost typed Moneypenny!).
The perfectly named Ragged-Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi) likes to have its feet in damp places so look for it in marshy areas, near drains and streams.
Given the deep purple of its flowers, I think this might be Russian comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum), a hybrid of Common and Creeping comfrey. I found it growing well in a coastal location near where I live.
Though officially known as Wood avens (Geum urbanum) I always think of this plant as Herb Bennet, which, according to Flora Britannica, is a corruption of the medieval Latin herba benedicta, meaning the blessed herb. Its roots were widely used in herbal medicine.
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