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It is most common in the south west’s temperate rainforest zone.
Favouring well-lit conditions and dry, open situations, it is most often found in tree canopies or on lower branches where trees are well-lit, in woodland or on scattered trees in open moorland. You can also find it on the ground after stormy weather.
Other large, bearded lichens include Usnea ceratina, Usnea dasopoga and Usnea hirta but these lack the sausage-like lobes.
Largely restricted to south-western parts of the UK with most records in south-west England.
Bright yellow discs of tightly packed florets above a rosette of jaggedly toothed leaves are followed by fluffy white seed heads. The plants are perennial and have a long tap root.
Dandelions mostly occur in disturbed habitats such as pastures, roadside verges, lawns, tracks, paths and waste ground.
Dandelions are widespread and stable throughout the British Isles.
Dandelions and daisies on a Wiltshire lawn, image by Archie Thomas
Ashy Mining Bee on Dandelion, image by Pip Gray
It spreads to form small patches of plain green hairless leaves that are carried in pairs and look similar to a large version of Thyme, hence the name.
The tips of the shoots rise up and turn into short flower spikes, bearing a succession of tiny white or pale blue flowers, 5-6mm across. Look closely and you’ll see that their uppermost petal is usually veined with darker blue. Only a few flowers open at a time and their pale colour can make this plant hard to spot.
Found throughout the UK.
Grows in a wide range of dry and damp places including grassy pastures, lawns and verges as well as woodland rides, heaths and cultivated land and waste ground.
When in flower, from March to October.
‘The daisy is a happy flower, And comes at early spring, And brings with it the sunny hour, When bees are on the wing.’ – John Clare, “The Daisy”
A common sight across the UK, daisies are a delightful sign that spring has arrived and summer is on its way.
Each flower has a rosette of small, thin white petals surrounding a bright yellow centre. These are supported by a single stem which grows from a group of dark green rounded leaves. The petals can sometimes be tinged with pink.
Short grassland and meadows.
Very common. Found on grassy areas across the UK.
Daisies in a clump
Common Daisy, image by Trevor Dines
– Geoffrey Grigson, “The Englishman’s Flora”
One of our most magnificent wild flowers with feathery leaves and large purple blooms with a central boss of golden stamens.
The Pasqueflower blooms around Easter, hence the name “Pasque” (meaning “like Paschal”, of Easter). Its bell-like flowers open to track the path of the sun each day, nodding and closing at night. These are often followed by feathery seed heads. It’s a perennial plant, froming a neat clump of soft, hairy leaves.
A large purple bloom with a central boss of golden stamens and feathery leaves.
Dry calcareous grasslands, limestone banks and hillsides.
April when it flowers.
A rare wildflower which has been lost from many of the places it used to grow. Lack of grazing and scrub encroachment pose a serious threat to many of the remaining populations and it is considered “Vulnerable” in Britain.
Pasqueflower, image by Mark Schofield
Its small leaves are triangular in shape and deeply toothed.
The beautiful bright blue flowers – which can be a centimetre across and have a white eye – are carried on small spikes in the axils of the leaves. Note that if the flowers are not on spikes but each one comes directly from the leaf axils then you might be looking at slender speedwell, Veronica filiformis instead.
Found throughout the UK, but rare on the Outer Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland.
Generally grows in grassy places like meadows, pastures, verges and lawns, as well as in woods, hedgerows and waste ground.
When in flower, from March to July.
Like other speedwells found in the wild, it was believed that Germander speedwell was good luck for travellers, and wearing it in your buttonhole would “speed you well” on your journey.
Image by Matt Prosser
Image by Andrew Gagg
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