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English Bluebells

Bluebell – English (Hyacinthoides non-scripta)

There are some English Bluebells on the Ridge (pictured in the left-hand column).

Most other bluebells on the Ridge are probably hybrids (pictures in the right-hand column) as even though the stem is curved at the top, there are some flowers lower down on the outer side of the curve.

Flowers: May. 5-12 dark violet-blue scented flowers in one-sided, nodding racemes, with strongly recurved petals and creamy white pollen.

Leaves: 3–6 linear leaves growing from the base of the plant.

Height: Up to 50 cm

 

bluebells close-up

bluebells

The English Bluebell is a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. It is a criminal offence to remove the bulbs of wild common bluebells and landowners are prohibited from removing common bluebells on their land for sale.

white hybrid bluebells

Bluebell – Hybrid

This white bluebell also occurs on Cock Road Ridge. It has the English Bluebell characteristics of a ‘nodding’ raceme of flowers bent over at the tip and white pollen but the white flowers occur on both sides of the stem.

white hybrid bluebells close-up

Spanish bluebells

Bluebell – Spanish (Hyacinthoides hispanica)

More upright than the native English bluebell.

Flowers: range in colour from pale to mid blue, or white or pink, and have deep blue pollen.

Not to be encouraged as they will gradually take over from our native species.

white Spanish bluebells
Brooklime

Brooklime (Veronica beccabunga)

Flower: Blue with white centre, 6-9 mm across in spikes of 10-30, arising from each of an opposite pair of leaf-axils.

Leaves: Dark green, rounded and glossy.

Height: 20-35 cm.

A fleshy plant, creeping and rooting in the water or mud in the shallow edge of the pond.

The plant provides egg laying, perching and roosting sites for adult dragonfly; the larvae use the stems to climb out of the water.

Brooklime close-up

forget-me-not

Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis arvensis)

Flowers: from April-June. Blue, pink or white with white centres. 10 to 15mm across, flat, with 5 petals.

Leaves: Long, alternate.

Height: 30 cm.

 
Black Knapweed

Knapweed - Black Knapweed/Common Knapweed/Hardhead (Centaurea nigra)

Flowers: July-September. The inflorescence contains a few flower heads, each a hemisphere of black or brown bristly whorls of bracts. The head bears many small bright purple flowers (sometimes yellow or white). The fruit is 2 or 3 mm long, tan and hairy.

Leaves: 25 cm long, usually deeply lobed, and hairy. The lower leaves are stalked, whilst the upper ones are stalkless.

Height: Up to 1 m.

Loved by Goldfinches, Honey Bees and butterflies, including Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Painted Lady, Peacock, Red Admiral, Small Copper, Small Skipper and Large Skipper all of which have been seen on the Ridge.

Black Knapweed flower
Meadow Cranesbill

Meadow Cranesbill (Geranium pratense)

Flowers: June-September.

Leaves: Deeply divided into 7-9 lobes.

Height: 50 cm

 
Self Heal

Self Heal (Prunella vulgaris)

Flowers: June-August. Two lipped and tubular in a whirled cluster, top lip is a purple hood, the bottom lip can be white.

Leaves: 2.5 cm long and 1.5 cm broad, lance shaped, serrated, reddish at tip, growing in opposite pairs down the square stem.

Height: 5 to 30 cm

Self Heal close-up
Bush Vetch

Vetch - Bush Vetch (Vicia sepium)

Flowers: Blue - Purple 12-15 mm long in groups of 2-6. May - August.

Leaves: made up of 5-9 pairs of leaflets, with the leaf stem ending in branched tendrils used to curl around surrounding plants for support.

Height: up to 100 cm climbing on hedges and bushes.


Bush Vetch
Common Vetch

Vetch - Common Vetch (Vicia sativa)

Flowers: pealike occurring in the leaf axils, solitary or in clusters of up to three. Flower corolla 1-3 cm long. Whitish to bluish to red or bright pink-purple.

Fruit: Pod up to 6 or 7 cm long. Hairy when new and smooth later, contains up to 12 seeds.

Leaves: each made up of a few
pairs of linear, lance-shaped, oblong, or wedge-shaped, needle-tipped leaflets up to 3.5 cm long.

Height: Up to 2 m hollow, four-sided, hairless to hairy stems.

Common Vetch close-up
Wood Violet

Wood Violet (Viola sororia)


Flowers: April-June, range from dark violet to white.

Leaves: Heart-shaped.

Height: 9-14 cm

single Wood Violet

Image of white Wood Violets