our local wildflowers


Ranunculus – ‘buttercup’
  • Growing in abundance in the fields around Chipping Sodbury – end of May 2015
  • Buttercups are poisonous to cows which is why they are left uneaten
  • The Latin name for Buttercups ‘Ranunculus’ means ‘little frog’


Petasites - Butterbur
Petasites – ‘Butterbur’
  • Spotted in the woods near Kingscote Mid April.
  • Also known as Sweet Coltsfoot, butter dock, dog rhubarb and exwort
  • Butterbur has been used historically to treat many ailments however it contains toxins and is not recommended to be taken internally

Red Campion

Silene dioica - 'Red Campion'
Silene dioica – ‘Red Campion’
  • Growing abundantly around hedgerows and in woods near Chipping Sodbury end of May
  • Some unusual traditional names for Red Campion are Batchelors’ buttons, Johnny Woods, Ragged Jack and Scalded Apples.
  • Female red campion flowers produce a froth that helps catch pollen from visiting insects.

Purple Borage

Borago officinalis - Borage/Starflower
Borago officinalis – ‘Borage/Starflower’
  • Borage seeds are used to make starflower oil which is the highest known plant-based source of GLA
  • Borage can be dried and used as a herb, the flowers are sweet and edible and can be used to decorate desserts

White Borage

White Borage
  • Growing alongside the purple version on the riverbank
  • White borage is cultivated and less dominant than the blue version

Wild Geranium

Geranium maculatum – ‘Old Maid’s Nightcap’
  • Flowering in abundance in the meadows in June
  • The Mesquakie Indians used to brew the roots as a tea for alleviating toothache

Pyramidal Orchid

Anacamptis pyramidalis – ‘Pyramidal Orchid’
  • Flowering in abundance by the roadside near Avoncliff in July
  • The pyramidal orchid was chosen as the County Flower of the Isle of Wight in 2008

Meadow Vetchling

Lathyrus pratensis – ‘Meadow vetchling’
  • Spotted growing in the meadows around Castle Combe in August
  • Meadow Vetchling is a member of the wild pea family and is classed as a legume

Field Bindweed

Convolvulus arvensis – ‘Field Bindweed’
  • Spotted growing in the meadows around Castle Combe in August
  • The insect in the flower on the right is the gloriously named ‘hogweed bonking beetle’
  • Although pretty, bindweeds can be very invasive due to their deep roots, fast growth and long lasting seeds


Jacobaea vulgaris – ‘Ragwort’
  • Spotted growing in the meadows around Castle Combe in August
  • Ragwort has many common names, two of the best are mare’s fart and stinking willy!
  • In the UK ragwort provides a home and food source to at least 77 insect species

Himalayan Balsam

Impatiens glandulifera – ‘Policeman’s Helmet’
  • Growing along the brook in Midford in August
  • The green seed pods, seeds, young leaves and shoots of Himalayan Balsam are all edible. The flowers can be made into jam
  • It is the largest annual plant in Britain, growing up to 2.5m high from seed in a single season.

Woolly Thistle

Cirsium eriophorum -‘Woolly Thistle’
  • Growing in a gravel driveway in Midford in August
  • The woolly thistle can grow to 1.5m tall

Wild Chamomile

Matricaria chamomilla – ‘Wild Chamomile’
  • Growing in a gravel driveway in Midford in August
  • The word chamomile comes from the Greek and means ‘earth-apple’
  • Chamomile is used for many medicinal purposes including the well know chamomile tea

Woody Nightshade

Solanum dulcamara – ‘Woody Nightshade’
  • Growing in the woods near Kingscote in August
  • A relative of the infamous ‘deadly nightshade’ the woody nightshade is less potent but the berries can still be fatal if ingested.

Great Willowherb

Epilobium hirsutum – ‘Great Willowherb’
  • Growing in the fields around Kingscote in August
  • Also known as hairy willowherb due to it’s hairy leaves and stems

Rosebay Willowherb

Chamerion angustifolium – ‘Rosebay Willowherb’
  • Growing in the rugby pitch on the Bath Skyline walk in August
  • A good example of a ‘pioneer species’ it was synonymous with the revival of London after the Second World War, growing on barren bomb sites.
  • Also known as ‘bomb-weed’ or ‘fire-weed’ as it thrives on damaged wasteland

Field Scabious

Knautia arvensis – ‘Field Scabious’
    Growing in the fields on the Bath Skyline walk in August
    Used in medieval times to treat scabies which is where it’s name comes from
    Popular food source for many butterflies and other insects

Common Daisy

Bellis perennis – ‘Common Daisy’
    Growing pretty much everywhere throughout the summer[unordered_list style=”green-dot”]

    • Bellis is Latin for “pretty” and perennis is Latin for “everlasting”.
    • Daisies can be found everywhere on earth apart from Antarctica

Wild Cyclamen

Cyclamen persicum –  Wild Cyclamen
    Flowering along the roadsides around Rode in September[unordered_list style=”green-dot”]

    • Cyclamen are sometimes known as ‘sowbread’ as pigs love to eat the tubers.
    • Cyclamen are native to the Mediterranean as far south as North Africa

Wild Primrose

Wild Primrose
Primula vulgaris – Wild Primrose

Water Forget-Me-Not

Myosotis scorpioides – Water Forget-Me-Not
    Flowering in the woods along Nunney Brook in March[unordered_list style=”green-dot”]

    • Also known as scorpion grass
    • The Greek word Myosotis means ‘mouse ear’


Achillea millefolium – Yarrow
    Flowering on the high meadows around Ebbor Gorge in July[unordered_list style=”green-dot”]

    • Also known as Old Man’s Pepper or Devil’s Nettle
    • Yarrow oil can be used as a mosquito repellant


Viola odorata – Violet
    Flowering in the woods around Ebbor Gorge in April[unordered_list style=”green-dot”]


Primula Veris – Cowslip
    Flowering on the meadows around Ebbor Gorge in April[unordered_list style=”green-dot”]

    • Cowslips may be so named because they often grow around cowpats


Hyacinthoides non-scripta – Bluebell
    Flowering in the woods around Ebbor Gorge in April[unordered_list style=”green-dot”]


Centaurea nigra – Knapweed
    Flowering in the meadows around Bath in June[unordered_list style=”green-dot”]

    • Also known as ‘Hardheads’

Wild Rose

Rosa canina – Dog Rose
    Flowering on Primrose Hill in June[unordered_list style=”green-dot”]

    • The hairs inside the rose hips are an irritant and are used to make itching powder
    • Dog rose flowers are popular with insects for the nectar

Red Dead Nettle

Lamium purpureum – Red Dead Nettle
    Flowering in the meadows around Swainswick in March[unordered_list style=”green-dot”]

    • Bees love the red pollen and because they flower early they are an important food source for early queens
    • Related to the stinging nettle but has no sting