Tag Archives: Yellow wildflower

Pardon my Ignorance 3

By now you are probably getting the idea that I really don’t know much about wildflowers. Well… maybe. The truth is that I have pretty much specialised in woodland species and the meadows that I find myself in now are full of wonderful surprises.

It is great for me. When I go out I am especially looking for something that I don’t recognise. The more that I can find the happier I am.

I photograph new species and then I identify them and I learn about them. They become a part of my life and my eyes are opened wider than ever. It is what I like 🙂

That last ID came from Mike and he blogs here Mike585 about Wilden Marsh which is only an hour or so north of me. It is a very different habitat from my farmland and forest and I enjoy seeing how his season is developing.

So, you might as well do my work for me. This next flower is definitely not called a Sherbet Dip Flower (I have done a Google search to make sure) I found it in the same location as the last and as always, it wants to be my friend.

Do you know what it is?

Unidentified Wildflower

Unidentified Wildflower

Unidentified Wildflower

Unidentified Wildflower

Unidentified Wildflower

Unidentified Wildflower

Unidentified Wildflower

Unidentified WildflowerI have got to go up to the Badger sett now and give the dog a run. I was too… It was raining too hard to get up there last night 🙂 and I want to see if we got anything.

If I haven’t got around to visiting your blog yet today then don’t worry I will. It is just proving to be a busy morning.

Thanks for looking 🙂

Pardon My Ignorance

Does anyone know what this is?

Yellow FlowerI will be honest, I haven’t really tried to find out yet. I just saw it yesterday. By the end of today I will know all about it and it will be a part of my life but this morning I don’t know what it is.

Yellow Flower

Yellow Flower

Yellow Flower

Yellow FlowerI can’t tell you very much about it. It is yellow, it is pretty and it wants to be my friend. That’s all I know.

I am going to take Fizz up to the sett and pick up the Badger Cam and then I will go and get some more pictures and find out all about it, if you don’t tell me first.

Yellow FlowerThanks for looking 🙂

Granny’s Toenails

Granny’s Toenails, well you may know it better as Lotus corniculatus or Bird’s-foot Trefoil. It is flowering in the fields behind the farm right now.

Bird's-foot Trefoil
Bird's-foot TrefoilThe name “Bird’s-foot” and indeed “Toenails” comes from the shape of the seed pods which bear a striking resemblance to Great Grandma Hewit’s left foot and resemble some birds feet as well.

Bird's-foot TrefoilCertainly if I was going to introduce a child to this flower for the very first time then I would introduce it as Granny’s Toenails, flowers should be fun.

Eggs and Bacon is another good name if there are no seed pods yet, more fun than Bird’s-foot Trefoil. The buds are quite red and that often carries on to the flower giving you the bacon part of your breakfast.

Bird's-foot Trefoil

Bird's-foot Trefoil

Bird's-foot Trefoil

Bird's-foot TrefoilIt is a member of the Pea family (Fabaceae) and it is in flower from now (and a bit earlier) until the end of September.

That is my account of the very beautiful wildflower Lotus corniculatus.

Bird's-foot Trefoil

Bird's-foot Trefoil

Bird's-foot Trefoil

Bird's-foot Trefoil

Buttercup

Well our Buttercups have gone and so now is a good time to write about them.

Meadow ButtercupMown down by the cruel farmers.

Cruel FarmerThe Buttercups haven’t really gone they will flower all summer in the hedgerows and along country tracks.

Meadow ButtercupBut despite my landlord’s retired status this is a working farm and the pastures have to be made use of.

These fields were allowed to grow so that they could be harvested for animal feed. Our fields are being turned into silage and on a neighbour’s farm the very same grass is being cut for hay.

The difference is just that our grass is being collected when wet and stored in a silo where it will be allowed to ferment before being fed to the animals. It’s “pickled” as my farmer friends explained to me. The grass for hay will be spread out in the field and allowed to dry in the sun before being collected.

Buttercups are extremely poisonous to livestock (and us) but both processes break down the toxins and render the meadow safe.

sILAGEWatching the process of turning our wild flower meadow into silage I was surprised at how much work was involved. When it came to collecting the grass they had one machine picking it up and that was followed by five tractors towing trailers that were being filled and taking the grass away.

There were a lot of people and machines involved and I remarked to my friend, “I am surprised that there is so much money in grass,” I was told that it was not really being grown for profit but just to provide food for the farmer’s own animals, I suppose it is cheaper than buying it.

Well short grass means that I can see what is going on in the fields and it also means that Fizz doesn’t lose her ball so often which saves me a bit of money.

FizzButtercups:

We had two species growing in the field. The golden mass was Meadow Buttercup, Ranunculus acris.

Meadow ButtercupMore concentrated around the outside of the field, the hedgerows and shady areas we had, still have, Creeping Buttercup, Ranunculus repens.

Creeping ButtercupThey are quite different looking plants and I will show you the differences but they can get confusing especially because as in this next picture they often grow in the same spot and get all mixed up with each other.

ButtercupsWhen they are mixed up like this you can separate the two species by looking at the flower stem.

Creeping Buttercup has a ridged stem.

Creeping ButtercupMeadow Buttercup has a smooth stem.

Meadow ButtercupGenerally you don’t have to look that close.

Meadow Buttercup is a tall gangly plant with little foliage.

Meadow ButtercupThe sparse leaves are narrow and deeply divided.

Meadow ButtercupIt grows on a single stem with a scattering of basal leaves.

Meadow ButtercupCreeping Buttercup is much more of a bushy little plant.

Creeping ButtercupIt has broad palmate leaves and a lot of them.

Creeping ButtercupIt is multi stemmed.

Creeping ButtercupThe flowers of the two species look very much the same and both can be used to find out if somebody likes butter.

Creeping Buttercup

Meadow ButtercupButtercups are no good to eat but wonderful to drink. Poisonous to livestock, they nourish insects and in their own way the insects return the love.

Green Veined White

Green Veined White

These are two of our most common native buttercups, there are others but perhaps in another post. For now these are my buttercups. I hope that you like them.

Wood Avens or Herb Bennet?

I think that I will go for Herb Bennet just because when I Google Wood Avens there is a certain other wordpress blogger dominating the front page with much better photographs than I can get. Well done mike585.

Herb Bennet is in the news today because the burrs are out and I am having so much fun with them.

Herb Bennet

Herb BennetThe seed head is in the form of a burr with lots of little hooks they are supposed to stick to the fur of passing animals and so disperse.

Herb BennetI have to test these things out.

FizzBut let’s start at the beginning.

Herb BennetI don’t think that there is a great deal to be said about it so this will mostly be pictures.

Herb Bennet, Geum urbanum also known as Wood Avens. It is a member of the rose family (Rosaceae). It is a plant of shady hedgerows that flowers (I got my first photo this year on the 12th of March) from May to August.

In folk lore it is said to protect you from venomous snakes and rabid dogs and in Herbal Medicine it has long been used as a cure for snake venom and dog bites, so that is pretty straight forward.

On with the flowers.

 

Herb Bennet

Herb Bennet

Herb Bennet

Herb Bennet

Herb Bennet

Herb Bennet

Herb Bennet

Herb Bennet

Herb Bennet

Herb Bennet(12th March)

Herb Bennet

Herb Bennet

 

 

Taraxacum species (Dandelions)

The first thing to know about Dandelions is that you can’t identify them to species. You can make a stab at it, most of the Dandelions that are going to be in this post are probably Taraxacum officinale, the Common Dandelion but I cannot be sure of that, it is just the most likely species.

DandelionThere are about 250 different species and the differences are very small. It is a job for an expert. If you really needed a positive identification you would have to find an expert and I would guess supply him with plant material, the whole plant, leaves and roots included, you wouldn’t get it from a photograph.

Once you knew what it was you wouldn’t have it any more and the next one you see may well be something else so that would be pretty useless information.. So they are Taraxacum species or just Dandelions and there is nothing wrong with that.

DandelionDandelions are an intrinsic part of childhood. You probably gathered the leaves for your pet Rabbit or Tortoise and played games with the Dandelion clocks.

I like flowers that double as children’s toys, Daisies in chains, Sticky Willy on somebody’s back or Dandelion clocks.

I used to think of them as a solitary little weed that I would see on a roadside verge and that was about all that I thought about them until I came to live on a farm and saw the way that they fill the meadows and pasture in April and now I will look forward to them every year.

Dandelion DandelionThe first thing that you need to know about Dandelions is that they are good to eat. All parts of the Dandelion are edible and there are no poisonous plants that look like Dandelions.

I like to add flowers to salads, well you know what they say, the first taste is with the eyes. The dandelion flower is completely edible but the sepals are bitter so just use the yellow parts. You can create nice effects with lots of individual yellow florets on a dark green leaf. You can add them to anything, decorate a bowl of soup or a pile of mashed potato. I know lots of wild flowers that are good to eat and beautiful but I don’t know any supermarket where you can go and buy a packet of eating flowers anyway they are best picked fresh.

Young leaves are good in salads mixed with other leaves. Older leaves are best cooked, you could steam them. I fry them and add them to omelettes as I would spinach.

Insects like Dandelions.

Red Tailed Bumblebee Buff Tailed Bumblebee Mining BeeThe fact that insects do like them so much is a very good reason for allowing them into your garden. They attract pollinators.

Two other good reasons for having them in your garden: They have a very deep tap root that draws nutrients up from the soil and makes them available to other plants and you might get hungry while gardening.

9I am running out of things to say about Dandelions, I don’t just like to copy stuff from other web sites but yes….

They are a member of the daisy family (Asteraceae) which means they are composite flowers. A Daisy is not a single flower, the yellow centre is actually made up of lots of little yellow flowers called disc florets and the “petals” are each little white flowers called ray florets. A Dandelion doesn’t have any disc florets just lots of little “rays” of sunshine.

DandelionAnd although you can probably find Dandelions all through the summer they peak in the springtime around about April.

All parts of the Dandelion are edible and there are no poisonous plants that look like Dandelions.There is some truth in the belief that touching one will make you wet the bed, they have long been used in medicine as a diuretic. A glass of wine with your dinner will have a similar effect, or orange juice and you shouldn’t let that put you off.

DandelionThe name Dandelion comes from the French dent de lion meaning Lion’s tooth from the jagged shape of the leaf but more commonly in France it is known as Pissenlit and I will just tell you that “lit” is the French  word for bed. The Germans call it Pusteblume meaning “Blowing Flower.”

Pusteblume:

Dandelion Clock Dandelion Clock Dandelion Clock Dandelion Clock Dandelion Clock

Coltsfoot. The bush that never flowers?

Coltsfoot, Tussilago farfara (Points for a pretty name) When I first saw it in March, it was nothing but flowers.

Coltsfoot flowerI mean that it didn’t have any leaves.

Coltsfoot flowerColtsfoot is an unusual plant because the flowers appear long before the leaves.

Coltsfoot stem Coltsfoot stem Coltsfoot stemIt is a sun loving flower. No sun, no flowers.

Coltsfoot closed flowersSun comes out…

Coltsfoot flowerThat is Tussilago farfara the flower.

Coltsfoot FlowerNow it is time for the flower to set seed, wither and die.

Coltsfoot seed headGo on then, wither and die.

Coltsfoot seed head Coltsfoot seed head Coltsfoot seed head Coltsfoot seed headNow the leaves appear.

Coltsfoot LeafThese leaves will grow and age and then in turn they will wither and die without apparently ever producing a flower. Of course there was a flower, Coltsfoot just has a funny way of doing things.

Yesterday Fizz and I went out with the aim of photographing the Coltsfoot foliage. I was a bit disappointed, I was hoping the plants would be bigger but this is Coltsfoot today. (Yesterday)

Coltsfoot Leaf Coltsfoot Leaf Coltsfoot Leaf Coltsfoot LeafThat is another one of natures mysteries explained, only a few more to go …..