Hazel & Co.

Yesterday, I couldn’t help noticing that the catkins had opened and that coincided with my latest flower post, so that is my theme for today.

Hazel Catkin(Hazel)

That is the male flower. Like a lot of hermaphrodite plants  the female flowers open after the male catkins, a clever ruse to avoid self  pollination and it will be weeks before we see any of these little red flowers.

Hazel flowerThe thing that I don’t get is that all of our local trees operate on the same time scale. All off the male flowers will start to open now and distribute their pollen and it will be a month before we see a single female flower. What a waste!

Hazel FlowerWe would get a lot more Hazel nuts if the trees could get their act together.

Never mind, on with the theme 🙂




Germander Speedwell(Speedwell)





Deep breath…


Scarlet Pimpernel(Pimpernel)



Black Nightshade(Nightshade)

Dog Violet(Violet)

Lesser Clover(Clover)




There’s too many! I can’t go on.


Nose in the Air(Nose-In-The-Air)

Marsh Marigold(Kingcup)



Red Campion(Campion)

Wood Avens(Avens)

Wild Marjoram(Marjoram)



Red Bartsia(Bartsia)


I have to stop there. There are loads more but I’ve still got to do the General.

Sorry Rabbits.


Stachys sylvatica, The Hedge Woundwort

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)Hedge Woundwort is native to Europe and much of Asia, it can be found all over the UK with the exception of the Scottish Highlands.

A woodland plant it is most commonly found in woodland edge and hedgerow habitat. It is a member of the Mint family and sometimes called a  Dead-nettle, although this one is not a Lamium.

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)Purple flowers grow in whorls above a pair of opposite leaves. The flower spike can be a metre tall.

The stem is very distinctive , being square and hairy with well defined purple corners.

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica) Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)   Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)   Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica) The leaves grow in opposite pairs up the stem, there is no basal rosette. They are heart shaped and hairy, with sharply toothed edges and grow on long flattened stalks.

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica) Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)   Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)   Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica) The leaves have an unpleasant smell when crushed, possibly a defence against being eaten.

The flowers take the form of a tubular corolla emerging from a calyx of five pointed sepals. They have a hood and a three lobed bottom lip.

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)Each flower contains four stamens and a single style.

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)The bottom lip of the purple flower is marked with white.

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)Woundwort also has it’s own bug.

Woundwort ShieldbugThe Woundwort Shieldbug (Eysarcoris venustissimus) is usually found on Hedge Woundwort but occasionally on other Dead-nettles such as White Dead-nettle.

Woundwort ShieldbugIf you have Woundwort growing near you then it is well worth keeping an eye open for these attractive little bugs.

Woundwort ShieldbugWoundwort is pollinated by insects and it is a favourite of Bees. It also spreads from underground runners.

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)As the name suggests Woundwort has long been used in herbal medicine as a cure for almost anything. It is said to be particularly useful to stop bleeding and in the field a few leaves can be applied to a cut as a plaster, it is said to be effective.

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)Taxonomy

Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Lamiales

Family: Lamiaceae

Genus: Stachys

Species: Stachys sylvatica

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)Wildflowers in winter.


60 thoughts on “Hazel & Co.”

  1. A radiant flower post. I might need to put my sunglasses on! So many lovely colours and designs. I’ve heard the word catkins but never actually seen pics of them. Neither did I know they are hermaphrodites. The bunnies are lovely too. But I’ve always been a push-over for soft furry critters. 🙂


    1. Thank you Jane 🙂 The flowers (including Nose-In-The-Air) are all characters from the novel Watership Down, Hazel being the main character. The Hazel tree produces both male and female flowers but it is so far out of synch it amazes me that we get any nuts 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I couldn’t bring myself to read Watership Down as I thought I would get too sad! Thanks for explaining the references for me. 🙂


  2. What an invaluable series on plants and plant identification this is becoming. I always find it so difficult to be certain when giving plants names. Your blog is very helpful – and a lot of fun too. Looks like hundreds tune in to see what adventures you and Fizz have been having. Thank you.


    1. Thank you Jessica 🙂 I am putting all of my flowers onto my Easy Wildflower ID guide on the sidebar. The problem is making it comprehensive, there are so many flowers to add. I will just have to work harder 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. What a wonderful collection (but, I secretly like the bunnies in the header shot best).

    If only you lived just around the corner, Colin. I’m sure you could identify all my unnamed flower folders. I’m afraid I don’t have your patience to fossick through my plant encyclopaedias (2) these days.

    I never knew Hazel had a flower like that. My own image was made in winter (I think) and just shows bare branches. Your blog is such a mine of information.


  4. What a lovely post (I of course am partial due to my name)! I can’t believe you’re seeing hazel flowers already. We’ve had three snowstorms in the past week in New England; yesterday we got over a foot of fluffy snow! It’s -7F as I write…


    1. Thank you Hazel 🙂 We would love a foot of fluffy snow, just a little bit of winter in wintertime would be nice. It is just cold and windy here, the sun is rising in the sky and the Butterflies are only a few weeks off.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your theme needed no explanation. As soon as I saw the title in my email inbox, I thought Hazel & Co? Must be Watership Down, one of my favourite books of all time. I thought you’d have only photos of rabbits, but this was much better. I know I’m supposed to be a grown up, but I was bouncing with glee in my chair as I saw everyone’s name in original form.

    I am pretty sure I anthropomorphized Woundwort, because up close it seems like a particularly threatening flower, “being square and hairy with well defined purple corners.” A true villain, I think. Not to mention stinging leaves. Does this one have leaves that sting? I think that would be more protection that having an unpleasant smell.


  6. Sitting here on a snow covered 10 degree Pennsylvania morning, with a surgical sling on one arm and spring a long time away, this post was a beautiful way to start my day today. You cause smiles to happen, thank you. 🙂


    1. Thank you Sarasin 🙂 Just had to pop over to FB to see how you were getting on. Glad to hear that everything has gone well and you will be out of that sling before you know it. Then it will be spring and everything will be beautiful 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. And where’s Big-Wig? My elder daughter wouldn’t/won’t read Watership Down as she says she was traumatised by the cartoon version. I can’t remember it being that bad. I love the book and I also thought immediately about it when I read your title. Lots of Woundwort here in the summer and catkins too (as you saw on my post).


    1. Thank you Clare 🙂 We couldn’t decide which of us was the boss, so we left Big-Wig out. Seeing your catkins inspired me to look for some open ones. They are all closed up around the farm still but we did find some at the end of Badger Alley.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have just checked and my first pictures last year were taken on February 25th but it is worth looking. I am going down there regularly looking for signs of Coltsfoot anyway, so I will keep my eyes open.


  8. Very interesting post. I like your first bunny picture – just before the blackberries. It’s a unique pose. I’ve never seen a rabbit kiss the ground before.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. That’s okay, Colin. I’m gonna turn Mr. Catkin into Mrs. Catkin. She’s gonna be a real cutie. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your Blog. You make it very interesting. As you know, I’ve started a new blog, My Favorite Things, where I post free PSP tubes for people to use. Would you mind if I posted your flowers and anything I can use in my post? I will be sure to give you credit and direct people to your blog. Thanks, Colin. Happy Trails!!


    1. Thank you Sandi 🙂 Of course you can use my pictures in any way that you want. If one person sees a picture and decides that they like that subject and will maybe take an interest then I have given something back for all that I have been given. Nature gives a lot to me 🙂 I look forward to your Catkins.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Colin! That’s the way I feel about posting free PSP tubes. So many artists willingly share with others and I want to give back something in return. Life is about sharing, not hoarding. I can’t wait to start making tubes of what you share. Happy Trails!


    1. Thank you Emilio 🙂 I wish. It was only the Hazel catkins that I saw yesterday. I had just written a post about Woundwort for my EW blog and the combination of Hazel and Woundwort inspired me to see how many more characters from Watership Down I could list. Snowdrops are out and quite a few more will come out this month, by March there will be new flowers appearing every day 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What a great tour! Beautiful photos. I loved the bunnies, and was enlightened about hazelnuts (not promising). The little snowdrop was my #1 picture. Shieldbugs. New name to me. We have several ‘handsome’ varieties here, too. They proliferate quickly. Smudge the cat loves keeping the population in check.


  11. So you have bought Fizz a rabbit costume. Very realistic but the tennis ball (just out of shot) was a bit of a give away. I saw a real rabbit today and I saw some primroses. Amazing.


    1. Welcome back Andrew 🙂 Funny that you should mention Primroses, I was out looking for them yesterday. There are lots of funny ones coming up in peoples gardens but I haven’t seen them in the wild. Yesterday I found plenty of plants but no flowers yet. How is Lulu? I am hoping that she is in an open prison and can get visitors and that she isn’t in solitary. I don’t really know how quarantine works.


      1. Hi Colin,

        Lulu’s prison is in a HK$1,000 a night hotel. She can have approved visitors and is being well looked after. She flies on the 17th if we have not changed our minds and gone back by then. No quarantine. Yesterday was our first day of house hunting and was intensely depressing.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You may have picked the worst week to visit England. Quite frankly if this was all I knew, I wouldn’t stay here. You must be very busy but if you have time give me a shout and we can have a day out at the ponds. You can count on the birds in winter 🙂



  12. Colin, you offer us so much today! The rabbits are so pretty, the flowers are always beautiful and unfamiliar to me ergo, more knowledge gained. And the insects seem dressed for battle.
    I was happy to see a photo of a stem of willow. They are not easy for me to find anymore. A windsheer took ours down years ago along with a Catalpa tree. The willow was truly missed.
    I will be reading over this post again.


    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Ettel 🙂 I am so glad that you enjoyed the post. We have just had the hedges trimmed on the farm to stop the sheep getting stuck in them. Some of the Willow has taken a bit of a battering but it will recover quickly. There will be lots of willow catkins to come, they are one of my favourites 🙂


      1. Mine also. They make a nice arrangement.. They are so soft … almost like fur on a kitten or a bunny. Something lovely to look forward to come spring.
        Thank you for checking Facebook concerning my dear daughter.


  13. Wow! Okay, speedwell, campion, coltsfoot and snowdrops are my favorites, except for the bunnies. Bunnies come first, always. 🙂 This was another wonderful post and since I know nothing (well, I did recognize a few flowers and the bunnies, of course, LOL) I feel as if I’m in a fabulous botany class with a side of bunnies and Nose-in-the air:) Love it.


  14. Certainly an amazing post today, and when our flowers start to bloom around here, I’ll have to see how many of your flowers I can match in our Canadian “wilderness”. Once I can hit the lower mountains in the Spring, I’ll try and give you a good run for your money (not very likely, but I’m the ambitious type). Thanks again for a great post.


  15. An interesting photostorie with lovely pictures. The rabbits are so cute. The Hazel flower is such a beauty – it is easy to miss it if you don´t have your eyes opened. And of course you have to know that they are one of the earliest to blossom. I really enjoyed your post with “up nosy” Fizz 🙂


  16. I don’t have words. This was so beautiful and so interesting. It just kept going, and brought me to happy tears. My favorite book brought to life in a whole new way. I can’t wait to show my mother, who first read the book to us many years ago. Thank you, my friend.


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