our local wildflowers

 Cow Parsley

Anthriscus sylvestris – ‘cow parsley’

Spotted in the woods near Chipping Sodbury in May 2015

  • Cow Parsley is also sometimes known as Queen Anne’s Lace



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’

Growing along the canal in June

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

Flowering in abundance around Monkton Farleigh in March

Water Forget-Me-Not

Myosotis scorpioides – Water Forget-Me-Not

Flowering in the woods along Nunney Brook in March

  • 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

  • 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


Primula Veris – Cowslip

Flowering on the meadows around Ebbor Gorge in April

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


Hyacinthoides non-scripta – Bluebell

Flowering in the woods around Ebbor Gorge in April


Flowering on the meadows around Ebbor Gorge in April

  • Also known as ‘Wedding Cakes’


Centaurea nigra – Knapweed

Flowering in the meadows around Bath in June

  • Also known as ‘Hardheads’

Wild Rose

Rosa canina – Dog Rose

Flowering on Primrose Hill in June

  • 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

  • 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