More flowers now to brighten up your month. Let’s hope we get some good weather for you to go searching for them!
- Broom: The yellow broom makes a brave show when the bush is completely covered with bright-yellow, sweet-pea-like flowers. You will find it on commons or on banks. Notice the small leaves of the broom, growing in groups of three.
- Yellow iris: This big, gay flower grows in or by water, and will remind you of the “flag” or iris that we grow in our gardens. Notice the pretty yellow fringe in the centre of the flower, and the tall, sword-shaped leaves.
- Blue bugle: Look for this plant on banks and in fields. The stem is closely covered with leaves and flowers, and can sometimes hardly be seen. Notice that stem is pale purple, square and hollow. The flowers have no stalks, but grow in close circles round the stem. They are usually deep blue, and are in lips, like the white dead nettle. The leaves are oval in shape, those at the bottom having stalks, those above having none.
- Wood spurge: This yellow-green flower is common in the woods and hedges now. Look at the curious yellow-green flowers, set among leafy bracts. The stem is often pinkish. The leaves are long and narrow.
- Water crowfoot: This is a white water-buttercup, and can easily be recognised by its masses of white flowers on the surface of ponds or streams in May or June. Notice the five white petals with the orange patch. Notice also the two kinds of leaves – the flat ones on the surface of the water, the very much cut- up ones below the surface.
- Early purple orchid: Look for this flower in open woods and pastures. It has red-purple flowers growing up in a spike. Each flower is made up of three red petals and three red sepals. Notice how differently shaped they are. The stalk is stout and juicy. The leaves have no stalks, and are strap-shaped, often spotted.
- Wild rose: This beautiful, sweet-smelling little rose may be found in hedges everywhere now, spreading five white or pink silken petals to the sun. Notice the many yellow stamens, making a beautiful centre to the flower. Notice also the prickly stem. The leaves are like those on our garden roses. The fruit is the well-known scarlet hip.
- Foxglove: Another well-known flower, whose name means “Folk’s Glove” or “Fairy’s Glove.” The tall spire of drooping purple-pink bells stands in the woods and on banks in the summer days. The grey-green leaves are long and broad, and on the underside they are white with woolly down.
- Dog daisy, or Ox-eye daisy: Every child knows the big white daisy that nods in the buttercup fields, its bright yellow centre showing up clearly. Notice the stiff ridged stem, and the feather-shaped straggling leaves.
- Common sorrel: This dull-red flower that sends up its pretty spires in fields and meadows every-where now, may often be found with buttercups and daisies, and is very attractive in a bowl with them. Look at the small crimson flowers, each with three petals and its own tiny stalk. There are many of them on a spike. The leaves are smooth, arrow-head-shaped, and dark green.
- Ragged robin: This flower will remind you of an untidy, red campion. It loves to grown anywhere damp. The rose-pink flowers grow on tall, rather sticky stalks, and are very much cut up, so that they appear ragged. The leaves are lance-shaped and narrow.
- Field thistle and Spear thistle: We have several kinds of thistle, and most boys and girls can tell them by their prickly leaves and soft pink-purple heads. The field thistle is a common one, found in fields and waste places. It can be found flowering now, and always in later summer. Notice the leaves with their prickly margins. The flower-heads are pale purple, and are visited by many insects, as you will see. The flowers change to thistledown later.
Look for the spear-thistle also, and notice the long spears or spines that jut out from the ends of the prickly leaves. Notice also the very spiny head, and the pretty purple flower.
- Meadowsweet: This deliciously-scented plant grows by streams and in any damp, open place. The tiny, creamy-white flowers are set in big heads and spires that look lacy and frothy as they nod beside the stream. Notice the stiff red stem, and the large leaves cut up into leaflets, with even tinier leaflets set on the leaf-stalk, between the larger ones.
- Hedge parsley: The hedge parsley embroiders banks and hedges with its clusters of tiny white flowers that grow on green spokes which will remind you of the ribs of an umbrella. Notice the fern-like leaves, very much cut-up, dark green, and hairy.
- Cow parsnip, or hogweed: This is another common “umbrella” plant, growing by the wayside anywhere. The small white flowers grow in clusters at the end of the “umbrella” ribs, as in the hedge parsley. Notice the glossy, smooth hollow stalk. The pale-green leaves will remind you of rose leaves.
- Scentless mayweed: This daisy is very common everywhere in the fields. It will remind you of the dog daisy, but the leaves are very different, for they are so much cut up that they seem no more than a tangle of green hairs or threads. Notice the queer thimble-like shape of the mayweed when the flower begins to wither. The white outer petals droop down, and the yellow middle raises itself up like a thimble.
- Poppy: Everyone knows the scarlet poppy. You will find it dancing in the corn-fields and by the wayside. Notice its four silken petals, the ring of the black headed stamens, and the green knob in the middle which will later turn brown and hold the ripening seeds. The poppy has two green sepals when in bud, but you will see these drop off when the flower opens The leaves are cut up into fingers.
- Field convolvulus, or bindweed: Look for the pretty pink or white bells of the bindweed in fields and waste places, or as a weed in the garden. Notice the queer way the bud is twisted and the curious ray-like markings inside the flower-bell. Look at the twisted stem of the bindweed. It binds itself tightly to any nearby plant, twisting its stem round and round it. The arrow-head-shaped leaves are dark and shiny.
And that is it for June’s flowers! I hope you have some luck finding one of these flowers. There are a lot to be looking out for, but then the weather should be a lot nicer and better by now.
So Happy Hunting!