Thursday, 16 July 2009

Colourful

Colours abound in the summer hedgerows. I included a picture of Rosebay Willowherb a few days ago and they are indeed colourful plants, but take a closer look at the individual flowers of this stately perennial.
The down-curved stamens and 4-lobed stigma drooping from the centre of each flower show off the four spoon-shaped petals and the four thin, darker pink sepals.
You might know the name of the next flower from the side of a skin preparation in the medicine cabinet! Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis), is a member of the same genus as the Willowherbs and is often grown in gardens for it's large, bright yellow flowers.
Evening Primroses are an introduced species from North America and is now fairly widespread across Britain. Standing about 3ft tall, they are like golden suns among the grasses and brambles.
Lastly for today, another yellow flower, this time much smaller. Square-stalked St.John's-Wort (Hypericum terapterum). Hypericums are also well-known as garden shrubs (my mother has a large Hypericum 'Hidcot' in her garden turned into high-rise accommodation by the sparrows).
This wild Hypericum was growing in the small, water-filled ditch running beside the path on our walk this morning. St.John's-Wort is also often seen as an ingredient in the medicine cabinet.
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