11 November is observed as a Remembrance Day, in honour of those who died during the First World war. In this blog post, I'm going to introduce you to the Flanders Poppy, the symbol of the First World War and explain the history behind why this delicate little flower became associated with one of the most infamous wars in recent history.
One wildflower with some of the most beautiful common names is arguably the Cuckoo Flower. Its other common names tell us about its habitat, uses, association with heritage, and also feature a little bit of rude botany.
There's nothing quite like brushing your bare shin against a Nettle and knowing, within minutes, you will be covered in itchy, red bumps that tingle and ache for the rest of the day. But perhaps they're more than just a source of itchy bumps.
Recently on the blog, we looked at English bluebells, so this week it seemed only fitting to move on to American bluebells. With an incredibly long history in a variety of cultures, Columbine is a treasured flower in the wild and in gardens. Its shape teaches an important lesson about evolution, and its symbolism has conflicting naughty and nice origins.
English bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) are enchanting flowers, they grow in ancient woodlands all over the UK and are often associated with magic and fairies. This flower is very close to my heart and an iconic symbol of the English countryside that's steeped in folklore and ancient mythology.
Common Dog Violet
If you're taking a walk through the woods, instead of admiring the majesty of the tree canopy, take a look at the meek, ground-dwellers below. Among them, you may come across the common dog violet (Viola riviniana). Flowering from April to June, this wonderful little plant is of great ecological importance.
When you ask a child to draw a flower, a simple yellow circle, surrounded by ovate petals is usually the result. Daisies (Bellis perennis) are what most would consider to be a typical flower. However, I hope that in the next few paragraphs I can convince you that daisies are anything but common within the world of flowers. Plot twist: daisies are not even flowers at all.