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Colt’s-foot is a bright, yellow daisy and is one of the first wild flowers to emerge in Spring.
The single flowers are held on scaly, crimson stems. As these start to die back, flat-fans of dark green leaves appear. These leaves are silver-white on their undersides.
Colt’s-foot grows in a range of habitats with open or disturbed ground, including arable land, waste land, shingle and scree, and even landslips. It grows particularly well in waste, rough and cultivated places where there is poor drainage.
Colt’s-foot is one of the early arrivals of spring. The best time to see it is throughout March and April.
Narcissus pseudonarcissus ssp pseudonarcissus
Groundsel is a common annual weed of rough and cultivated ground. You can find its clusters of small yellow flowers appearing on road verges, in gardens and on waste ground all throughout the year.
The leaves of Groundsel are bright shiny green, long and raggedly lobed. The small yellow flower heads are in cluster at the ends of the stems appearing to emerge from little tubes.
You can find Groundsel in flower throughout the year.
Groundsel is an annual weed of cultivated or disturbed ground, cropping up along field edges, roadside verges and on waste grounds.
Groundsel continues to be widespread throughout the British Isles, although there appears to have been a decline in the Scottish Highlands, possibly due to abandoning of marginal cultivations.
Fingered Speedwell is a low-growing, hairy plant with deep blue flowers.
Fingered Speedwell has leaves that rarely grow longer than a centimetre and are deeply divided into parallel-fingered lobes. Its upper leaves are stalkless, whereas the lower leaves have short stalks. Its flowers are borne at the tip of the stem amongst leaf-like structures called bracts.
Fingered Speedwell is restricted to just a few sites in East Anglia (Breckland) and Yorkshire. Generally an arable species, it is typically found in the margins of fields sown with winter cereals and also on fallow land or waste places. It has also been recorded in tracks, gravel pits, sand banks and disturbed parched grassland. It favours sandy calcareous or slightly acidic soils.
Fingered Speedwell is classified as ‘Endangered’ and is therefore considered to be facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild. It is protected under Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. This makes it an offence to intentionally pick, uproot or destroy any plants. The species is also listed as a priority species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.
The main causes of the decline of Fingered Speedwell are a direct result of the intensification of arable farming. Key factors include the introduction of broad-spectrum herbicides and the high increase in nitrogen fertiliser used on modern crop systems. Several sites have also been lost to development.
Ground Ivy is an aromatic creeping herb with funnel-shaped violet flowers.
This small, common evergreen perennial belongs to the mint family and spreads rapidly in a carpet-like form due to its creeping stems. Despite its name, it is not closely related to common ivy.
Ground Ivy has upright flowering stems bearing between two and four violet two-lipped flowers in a whorl. The lower lip has purple spots. Its leaves are scalloped in shape, which may explain why catsfoot is one of its many nicknames.
It is commonly found in woodlands, meadows, hedgerows, and wasteland throughout the British Isles, although it is rarer in Scotland. It also thrives in lawns as it survives mowing.
The seedpods of this common wildflower resemble little drawstring pouches worn by medieval peasants, spilling out tiny copper-coloured seeds when broken apart
A member of the Cabbage family, this annual plant produces flowers throughout the year, and is able to yield hundreds of seeds.
With a leafy rosette at the base, it grows to about 40cm. The leaves are larger and pinnately lobed at the bottom, and then arrow-shaped with wavy edges along the stem. It has tiny white scentless flowers arranged in a loose raceme, which are replaced by its highly recognisable seedpods.
It is widespread throughout Britain, particularly in waste grounds and cultivated fields.
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