Birdsfoot trefoil, Lotus corniculatus. A member of the pea family. Its three yellow petal flowers appear in small clusters. They are followed by seed pods that look distinctly like bird’s feet or claws. It’s an important food plant for the caterpillars of the common blue, silver-studded blue and wood white butterflies and when there was more grassland on Parkland Walk it […]
Bristly oxtongue, Helminthotheca echioides. Flower is not unlike a dandelion but it’s the upstanding bristly nature of the plant, each bristle arising from a pimple, which helps identify it and makes it clear it really isn’t a dandelion! Leaves elliptical to oblong, wavy edged, pimply and bristly with winged stalks, upper leaves un-stalked and clasping the stem.
Canadian Goldenrod, Solidago canadensis. As its name suggests it is native to northeastern and north-central North America. It forms colonies of upright growing plants, with many small yellow flowers in a branching inflorescence held above the foliage. It is an invasive plant that was imported to be grown as an ornamental in flower gardens. It is highly popular with a […]
Cinquefoil, Potentilla. Typical cinquefoil looks similar to wild strawberry but has dry inedible fruit. Flowers are usually yellow but may be pinkish, white or even red. In heraldry the cinquefoil emblem was used to signify strength, power, honour and loyalty and was used in the architecture of many churches throughout the 15th century. WT
Coltsfoot, Tussilago farfara. Flowering as early as February, Coltsfoot has large Dandelion like flowers but it’s the round middle of the flower that is almost daisy-like that makes it easy to identify. The shape of the leaves were thought to resemble a colt’s foot and local variations carry this on – ass’s foot and horse-hoof being two such names. Photo: […]
Common or yellow toadflax, Linaria vulgaris. A common plant of waste ground, grassland, roadside verges and hedgerows. Its yellow-and-orange flowers appear in June and persist well into November; they look like the flowers of snapdragons (familiar garden plants), and are often densely packed. These flowers give the plant its other common name of ‘butter and eggs’. WT
Creeping buttercup, Ranunculus repens. With a Latin name sounding somewhat like a Harry Potter spell, this bright yellow flowering plant is, like most buttercups, poisonous and due to its acrid taste, avoided by cattle. The basal leaves are divided into three broad leaflets. The plant grows to 50cm high and spreads by use of running stems. WT
Crocus, Crocus chrysanthus. Bears vivid bowl-shaped flowers. Its common name, “snow crocus”, derives from its exceptionally early flowering period, blooming about two weeks before the giant crocus, and often emerging through the snow in late winter or early spring. The leaves are narrow with a silver central stripe. Present, although probably planted, on the northern section in Muswell Hill.
Feverfew, Tanacetum parthenium. Feverfew is a traditional medicinal herb commonly used to prevent migraine headaches, and is also occasionally grown for ornament. The plant grows into a small bush up to around 46 cm (18 in) high with citrus-scented leaves, and is covered by flowers reminiscent of daisies. It is also sometimes referred to as bachelor’s buttons.
Gorse, Ulex europaeus. Gorse is closely related to the brooms, and like them, has green stems and very small leaves and is adapted to dry growing conditions. Between the different species, some gorse is almost always in flower, hence the old country phrase: “When gorse is out of blossom, kissing’s out of fashion”. Gorse flowers have a distinctive coconut scent, experienced […]