Names, mythology, uses and folk-lore: A very large number of names have been devised for the foxglove. These include: bunny rabbit’s (mouth), witch’s thimble, ladies thimble, goose/cow/fox flops, virgin’s fingers, wild mercury and many, many more. The foxglove name is just that – the fox’s glove. It has also been given fairy associations.

In ...

Names, mythology, uses and folk-lore: A very large number of names have been devised for the foxglove. These include: bunny rabbit’s (mouth), witch’s thimble, ladies thimble, goose/cow/fox flops, virgin’s fingers, wild mercury and many, many more. The foxglove name is just that – the fox’s glove. It has also been given fairy associations.

In ...

 

EYEBRIGHT – Euphrasia officianalis: Scrophulariaceae family 

The plant: This is a plant which grows in undisturbed grassy areas. There are about thirty or more variants – but to the country walker the differences are of little importance. It is found throughout the country but is best described as locally common. Some types grow up ...

 

EYEBRIGHT – Euphrasia officianalis: Scrophulariaceae family 

The plant: This is a plant which grows in undisturbed grassy areas. There are about thirty or more variants – but to the country walker the differences are of little importance. It is found throughout the country but is best described as locally common. Some types grow up ...

YELLOW RATTLE – Rhinanthus minor – Scrophulariaceae family

The plant: This plant comes in all shapes and sizes - from a few centimetres to sixty or seventy. It is semi-parasitic, living especially on grass roots. As a result it is usually seen on grassland, but also in grassy woods. This flower was pictured in a field near the village of Snod’s ...

YELLOW RATTLE – Rhinanthus minor – Scrophulariaceae family

The plant: This plant comes in all shapes and sizes - from a few centimetres to sixty or seventy. It is semi-parasitic, living especially on grass roots. As a result it is usually seen on grassland, but also in grassy woods. This flower was pictured in a field near the village of Snod’s ...

IVY-LEAVED TOADFLAX – Cymbalaria muralis: Scruphulariaceae

The plant: The plant is seen throughout England and Wales, but less commonly in Scotland. Typically grows on rocks and garden walls, and on the sides of paths. It is a plant from Southern Europe and was probably introduced in to Britain in the seventeenth century. Grigson says that ...

IVY-LEAVED TOADFLAX – Cymbalaria muralis: Scruphulariaceae

The plant: The plant is seen throughout England and Wales, but less commonly in Scotland. Typically grows on rocks and garden walls, and on the sides of paths. It is a plant from Southern Europe and was probably introduced in to Britain in the seventeenth century. Grigson says that ...

BLOOD-DROP-EMLETS – Mimulus luteus: Scrophulariaceae   

The plant: usually seen by the side of streams and rivers, or in damp earth. The plants photographed were in Upper Teesdale at a height of about 400m and I have seen other large clusters on Cheviot in Northumberland at a height of about 500m. They are virtually absent in the ...

BLOOD-DROP-EMLETS – Mimulus luteus: Scrophulariaceae   

The plant: usually seen by the side of streams and rivers, or in damp earth. The plants photographed were in Upper Teesdale at a height of about 400m and I have seen other large clusters on Cheviot in Northumberland at a height of about 500m. They are virtually absent in the ...

MIMULUS

MONKEY FLOWER – Mimulus guttatus: Scrophulariaceae

The plant: likes its feet in water – seen by streams and in damp areas. Came to Europe from the Aleutian Islands between Alaska and Russia where the climate is pretty awful: it is cold and foggy and there are over 250 days of rain each year. Has adapted well to U.K. conditions and after ...

MIMULUS

MONKEY FLOWER – Mimulus guttatus: Scrophulariaceae

The plant: likes its feet in water – seen by streams and in damp areas. Came to Europe from the Aleutian Islands between Alaska and Russia where the climate is pretty awful: it is cold and foggy and there are over 250 days of rain each year. Has adapted well to U.K. conditions and after ...

BIRD’S-EYE PRIMROSE – Primula farinose: Primulaceae The plant: This lime-stone loving plant is rare and seen only in a few places in the North of England on open damp grasslands and heath. This plant was seen in a syke (small stream) in Upper Teesdale near Cow Green reservoir. Grows to about 10cm. Where seen it can be locally common. The plant ...

BIRD’S-EYE PRIMROSE – Primula farinose: Primulaceae The plant: This lime-stone loving plant is rare and seen only in a few places in the North of England on open damp grasslands and heath. This plant was seen in a syke (small stream) in Upper Teesdale near Cow Green reservoir. Grows to about 10cm. Where seen it can be locally common. The plant ...

PRIMROSE – Primula vulgaris: Primulaceae

The plant: a perennial plant of early spring. Grows to about 20cm, although often smaller. Seen in hedgerows, damp grassy areas (if shaded) and also in woodland areas and banksides such as railway cuttings. Grows well in lime-stone areas and is not so happy on acidic soils. Has been declining – possibly ...

PRIMROSE – Primula vulgaris: Primulaceae

The plant: a perennial plant of early spring. Grows to about 20cm, although often smaller. Seen in hedgerows, damp grassy areas (if shaded) and also in woodland areas and banksides such as railway cuttings. Grows well in lime-stone areas and is not so happy on acidic soils. Has been declining – possibly ...

COWSLIP – Primula veris: Primulaceae

The plant: Commonly seen in areas where primroses grow – hedgerows, embankments (especially old railways embankments), undisturbed meadows – particularly on chalky/limestone soils. There has been a decline in recent years, possibly due to the cutting of grass verges or over harvesting of the plants for wine. ...

COWSLIP – Primula veris: Primulaceae

The plant: Commonly seen in areas where primroses grow – hedgerows, embankments (especially old railways embankments), undisturbed meadows – particularly on chalky/limestone soils. There has been a decline in recent years, possibly due to the cutting of grass verges or over harvesting of the plants for wine. ...

SCARLET PIMPERNEL – Anagallis arvensis ssp arvensis: Primulaceae (creeping)

The plant: a hairless annual seen usually on disturbed ground although this plant was photographed in a sand dune area of Holy Island. Can form quite a spreading network.

The flowers: One cm in diameter, there are five petals which can be red, pinkish-orange and ...

SCARLET PIMPERNEL – Anagallis arvensis ssp arvensis: Primulaceae (creeping)

The plant: a hairless annual seen usually on disturbed ground although this plant was photographed in a sand dune area of Holy Island. Can form quite a spreading network.

The flowers: One cm in diameter, there are five petals which can be red, pinkish-orange and ...

OXLIP – FALSE: Primula veris x vulgaris: Primulaceae

The plant: created by cross pollination of cowslips and primrose by insects – it is a hybrid of these two. It is found where the cowslip and primrose are seen together although it is much less common than the parent plants.

The flowers: These are primrose like, about fifteen mm across and, ...

OXLIP – FALSE: Primula veris x vulgaris: Primulaceae

The plant: created by cross pollination of cowslips and primrose by insects – it is a hybrid of these two. It is found where the cowslip and primrose are seen together although it is much less common than the parent plants.

The flowers: These are primrose like, about fifteen mm across and, ...

Wood-sorrel – Oxalis acetosella: Oxalidaceae

The plant: This plant is a creeper essentially – but also a perennial. It grows in woodlands and hedges – especially where the land is damp and has been undisturbed for a very long time. I have seen it grow on the top of moss growing on old stones in Allandale and this plant was growing in the cleft of ...

Wood-sorrel – Oxalis acetosella: Oxalidaceae

The plant: This plant is a creeper essentially – but also a perennial. It grows in woodlands and hedges – especially where the land is damp and has been undisturbed for a very long time. I have seen it grow on the top of moss growing on old stones in Allandale and this plant was growing in the cleft of ...

PROCUMBENT YELLOW SORREL – Oxalis corniculata: Oxalidaceae

The plant: this is a small plant, creeping and hairy. Usually seen in dry bare areas – this specimen was photographed on a hard, stony track. It is usually a garden escapee – bit it is highly successful in escaping. Those I have seen are never more than about six or seven cm tall. The ...

PROCUMBENT YELLOW SORREL – Oxalis corniculata: Oxalidaceae

The plant: this is a small plant, creeping and hairy. Usually seen in dry bare areas – this specimen was photographed on a hard, stony track. It is usually a garden escapee – bit it is highly successful in escaping. Those I have seen are never more than about six or seven cm tall. The ...

FAIRY FLAX – Linum catharticum: Linaceae

The plant: A very delicate annual plant, growing no more than about ten cm tall. It grows on both dry and damp grasslands, especially where the soil is calcareous.

The flowers: are relatively small and usually about five mm in diameter. They appear at the ends of the stalks in loose clusters. The flowers ...

FAIRY FLAX – Linum catharticum: Linaceae

The plant: A very delicate annual plant, growing no more than about ten cm tall. It grows on both dry and damp grasslands, especially where the soil is calcareous.

The flowers: are relatively small and usually about five mm in diameter. They appear at the ends of the stalks in loose clusters. The flowers ...

Cowslip

COWSLIP – Primula veris: Primulaceae

The plant: Commonly seen in areas where primroses grow – hedgerows, embankments (especially old railways embankments), undisturbed meadows – particularly on chalky/limestone soils. There has been a decline in recent years, possibly due to the cutting of grass verges or over harvesting of the plants for wine. Until the 16th century there was confusion over whether the primrose should bear the name of primula veris or whether the cowslip should do so. The cowslip won the day! They can grow to about 25cm although may be much smaller. Where present there can be very many.

The flowers: These are bell-shaped and hang down in bunches, or umbels, from the end of a stalk. There can be as many as thirty flowers on each stem, although usually many fewer flowers are seen. They are usually about ten cm. across and appear in the spring time – about April.

The leaves: The leaves are basal on the plant and appear like a rosette. They are roughly oval in shape and can be quite long, wrinkly and covered in a fine down of hairs. They taper towards the tip.

Names, mythology, uses and folk-lore:  There is a variety of historical and local names. The name we know it by presently may have come from its association with cow dung – or cu sloppe/slyppe in 0ld English. Other names include fairy cups and cow slap. Grigson gives a splendid list of names from all over the country. Predominating in these are references to Peter and to keys. One name for the cowslip is paigle, or key. Legend has it that St Peter, on being told that a duplicate key had been discovered for heaven, dropped his key in shock – and where it landed the cowslip grew. In German an old name is Himmelschlüssel (key of heaven). A fifteenth century use of the cowslip was to boil it in water and then drink the liquid in order to “cure” the “tremblynge hand” – this resulted in another name – palsywort. Almost certainly this was a treatment for Parkinson’s disease. In common with the primrose a fine and delicate country wine can be made from cowslips. Shakespeare refers to the cowslip and its fairy associations in The Tempest when the following words are given to Ariel: Where the bee sucks there suck I, In a cowslip bell I lie………