Wild Flowers

There is a remarkable variety of wild flowers growing in abundance along the roads, paths, woods and terraces surrounding Le Mura di Sopra. 2010 was a particularly good year. My project has been to photograph and identify every species I could find on the walks from the house to Benabbio village. This is seemingly never-ending with almost 100 plants identified by the end of 2012, most in fact growing on our land. I am a complete amateur but have spent some time with tomes of mediteranean wild flowers identifying what I can. If I have made errors, please forgive and correct me.

A field of spring flowers



Acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia) commonly known as the Black Locust, is a tree in the subfamily Faboideae of the pea family. It is native to the southeastern United States, but has been widely planted elsewhere in temperate North America,  Europe, Southern Africa and Asia. It is  not a true acacia and is considered an invasive species in Tuscany. The blossom is at its peak in late May. Highly fragrent scent. Good honey production and is used in cooking. May - June.

American Pokeweed. (Phytolacca americana). Leaves large, oval to lanceolate, untoothed. 2m tall. Hairless perennial. White flowers and black berries.
It is used as a folk medicine and as food. For many decades, poke salad ('poke salat') has been a staple of southern U.S. cuisine, where it is cooked and rinsed at least twice to remove the harmful component. All parts of it are toxic unless properly prepared.Toxic constituents which have been identified include the alkaloids phytolaccine and phytolaccotoxin, as well as a glycoprotein. Pokeweed berries yield a red ink or dye, which was once used by aboriginal Americans to decorate their horses. The Constitution of the United States was written using ink made from pokeberries. Many letters written home during the American Civil War were also written in pokeberry ink; the writing in these surviving letters appears brown.The red juice has also been used to symbolize blood, as in the anti-slavery protest of Benjamin Lay.A rich brown dye can be made by soaking fabrics in fermenting berries in a hollowed-out pumpkin. June-October


Andryala integrifolia
. April - July. One of the common yellow flowers. A genus of the daisy family
Leaves oval to lanceolate with yellowish glandular hairs. Flowers in clusters.
Basil thyme (acinos arvensis).
Short hairy annual. Leaves lancoleolate to oval, slightly toothed or non-toothed.A great favourite of the ancient herbalists, little used medicinally at present. One drop of it put into a decayed tooth is said to alleviate the pain. Added to bath water, especially for children, it is said to increase strength and sooth nerves. April - July




Borage (borago officinalis), aka starflower. Bristly annual. Leaves oval to lanceolate.Herb originating in Syria. Traditionally had medicinal uses but today is cultivated for its oil - starflower or borage oil. The plant is edible, fresh or dried as a herb. Fresh it has a cucumber like taste and is used in salads. The flowers have a honey-sweet taste and are one of the few edible blue foods. March - June

    Common Broomrape  (Orobanche minor). Hairy or downy perrenial. Leaves oal to lanceolate. Broomrapes are 200 species of parasitic herbaceous plants. As they have no chlorophyll, they are totally dependent on other plants for nutrients. Broomrape seeds remain dormant in the soil, often for many years, until stimulated to germinate by certain compounds produced by living plant roots. Broomrape seedlings put out a root-like growth, which attaches to the roots of nearby hosts. Once attached to a host, the broomrape robs its host of water and nutrients. March - July



Bryony white (Bryonia cretica).
Tall climbing perrenial. Leaves 5-lobed, untoothed or few blunt teeth.Under the name of Wild Nepit was known in the fourteenth century as an antidote to leprosy. It was also used for a variety of ailments, including gout, rheumatism, lumbago, sciatica, cardiac problems, coughs, colds and pneumonia. April - September


Common Rockrose (Helianthemum nummularium).
Variable dwalf shrub. Leaves oblong to lanceolate to rounded. Hairy beneath.The Rockrose has been used to treat panic, stress, extreme fright or fear and anxiety. It is said to promote calmness and relaxation but there isn’t enough information to know how rock rose might work. May - June


Broom (Cytisus scoparius).Variable shrub. May be hairy. Leaves small, trifoliate.
Many brooms (though not all) are fire-climax species, adapted to regular fires which kill the above-ground parts of the plants, but create conditions for regrowth from the roots and also for germination of stored seeds in the soil.
A fibre is obtained from the bark and can be used to make paper, cloth and nets.
The bark is a good source of tannin. Modern dyers report that the flowering tops of broom produce various shades of yellow. A green dye is obtained from the leaves and young tops.

An essential oil from the flowers is used in perfumery.

 Now considered too toxic to use a a food, contains toxic alkaloids that can depress the hearing and nervous systems and affect the function of the heart, in the past the flower buds were pickled and used as a substitute for capers. They were also added to salads.The tender green tops of the plant have been used like hops to give a bitter flavour to beer and to render it more intoxicating. The roasted seed has been used as a coffee substitute.


Broom wine and beer, from the tips, seem to have once had a reputation as a serious mind altering substance.

April - July




White campion (Silene latifolia).  Leaves oval to lanceolate.Male and female flowers occur on different plants. Female plants are usually more numerous. Seed recovered from archaeological digs and house demolitions is said to have germinated after 70 years burial.The sweet scented, night blooming plant was used during the Elizabethan era in England in a concoction made with sugar and wine. This concoction was used to sooth the heart. The roots were used to expels intestinal worms.

The root was also simmered in hot water to extract saponin to use as a soap substitute for washing clothes. It could have been used as a fish poison. Fish assimilate saponin directly into their bloodstream through their gills. The toxin does not kill the fish, but rather stuns them so that they float to the surface where they can be collected with ease.

March - October





Bladder campion. (Silene vulgaris).Leaves fleshy, linear lanceolate to oval.In Spain, the young shoots and the leaves have been used as food. The tender leaves have been eaten raw in salads. The older leaves were usually eaten boiled or fried, sauteed with garlic as well as in omelettes.
March - July



Campanula,(Campanula rapunculus), aka Rampion bellflower, one of several genera in the family campanulaceae with the common name bellflower from their bell-shaped flowers, campanula is Latin for "little bell". It is said to be edable raw or cooked. Medicinally, it was used for ailments of the heart and lungs, treatment of sore ears and eyes, and inflammations of the mouth. May - October



Bulbous or Tuberous comfrey (Symphytum bulbosum).
Comfrey was used in an attempt to treat a wide variety of ailments ranging from bronchial problems, broken bones, sprains, arthritis, gastric and varicose ulcers, severe burns, acne and other skin conditions. It was reputed to have bone and teeth building properties in children, and have value in treating gynaecological disorders. It should be used topically only as it can cause liver failure.
May - August





Crocus spp. Found in early spring in wooded areas. January - April












 Oxeye Daisy (leucanthemum vulgaris). It is said to have has been successfully employed in whooping-cough, asthma and nervous excitability and as an antispasmodic diuretic and tonic. May - September




















































Carthusian pink (Dianthus carthusianorum). Same family as the carnation.
Carthusian monks traditionally used the plant to treat muscle pain and rheumatism. Some forms of Carthusian pink can tolerate soils containing heavy metals, such as lead and zinc, and are therefore useful for re-vegetating polluted areas. May - August

                               


Common chicory, (Cichorium intybus). Various varieties are cultivated for salid leaves, or for roots which are baked, ground, and used as a  coffee substitute. It is also grown as a forage crop for livestock. May- August
Cistus rockrose (Cistus monspeliensis).  Modern research shows that an extract had high antioxidant ability and has an ability to enhance the energy metabolism. Further studies are in progress to elucidate its effect on antiaging.



Clematis vitalba or Old Man's beard.

The leaves are claimed to be analgesic, diuretic and rubefacient.The boiled roots and stems have been used as a cure for the itch and applied in the nostrils, the plant juice has been used to relieve migraine attacks, but it can also destroy the mucous membranes. It should not be taken internally because it is poisonous. Modern studies are under way to evaluate its used in arthritic conditions. May -August


White clover (trifolium repens) is grown widely worldwide as a pasture crop. A tea made from the flowers has been used to treat gout and rheumatoid arthritis. April - July




 Narrow-leaf Clover (Trifolium angustifolium) April - July

There are about 300 species of clover of varying colour.


Crimson clover or Italian clover (Trifolium incarnatum). The species name incarnatum means "blood red".
 Red clover has been used for relieving coughing, skin problems, and for preventing symptoms caused by menopause. April - July


Red Clover (trifolium pratense)


Spotted medick AKA spotted burclover, heart clover  (Medicago arabica) is native to the Mediterranean basin but is found throughout the world. It forms a symbiotic relationship with the bacterium Sinorhizobium medicae, which is capable of nitrogen fixation. March - July

Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) unwelcome in gardens as a nuisance weed due to its rapid growth and choking of cultivated plants.
 It is said to increase the flow of bile and its discharge from the body, and also that it is urine-inducing, laxative and strongly purgative. A cold tea made from the leaves is said to be laxative and has also been used as a wash for spider bites or taken internally to reduce excessive menstrual flow. April - September

Corn rocket (Bunias erucago). Leaves and young stems are edible - raw or cooked and have a characteristic aromatic flavour that goes well with beans. The young and tender leaves make a refreshing spring soup. May - July


Cypress spurge (Euphorbia cyparissias). When broken, like all spurges, it emits a milky sap which, folklore has it, may cure warts. Other sources allege that the milky juice of the plant is toxic and causes irritations on contact with the skin. The sap may also irritate the eyes, mouth, and gastro-intestinal tract. March - June



Common Daisy or Lawn Daisy (Bellis perennis) is a common European species of Daisy. Although many people think that the flower has a yellow centre with white petals this is not the case. Each individual "petal" is itself an individual flower. In the centre there are so many tiny yellow flowers. 
 It has been used traditionally for treating wounds. In homeopathy, Bellis perennis is often used in combination with Arnica montana to treat bruising and trauma.
April - September

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) Florence fennel or finocchio is a selection with a swollen, bulb-like stem base that is used as a vegetable.Wild fennel has a slightly more bitter flavour than cultivated fennel and is used various ways in cooking, especially for roast meats. Finely chopped, it is also used in many sauces. It has diuretic properties.
April - September

Field Fumitory ( Fumaria agraria) is of the poppy family March - July

White ramping-fumitory (Fumaria bianca) also of the poppy family. January - July


Pink milk thistle (Galactites tomentosa) has features reminiscent of the thistles and is sometimes called the Mediterranean thistle. April - July




 
Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum). Lily family. Can be mistaken for wild garlic but star of Bethlehem is toxic. It has, however, been used in herbal remidies for congestive heart failure and mental stress and shock.            March - May     



Geranium pusillum, commonly known as Small-flowered Cranesbill. March - May


Yellow sun rose (Halimium halimfolium)

with a shield bug. Also a cultivated garden plant. April - June




Hop (Humulus).Male and female flowers of the hops plant develop on separate plants Female plants, produce the hops flowers used in brewing beer. June - September.


Tassel Hyacinth (Muscari comosum), also commonly called tufted grape hyacinth, hairy muscari, edible muscari, or cipollini. An edible plant. The cooked bulb has a slightly bitter taste and is used in Greek and Italian dishes. Preseved in oil, the bulbs are used as a relish. March - June



Common Grape Hyacinth (Muscari neglectum). Has been used to treat constipation, as a diuretic and as a stimulant. February - May

Italian catchfly (Silene italica). Easy to confuse with the white campion. 
It is used in traditional African medicine. The leaves are used as a blonde henna in India. The young seeds are eaten in the Sahara region.

April - August





Lungwort, aka Spotted Dog and Herb of Mary (pulmonaria officinalis).The scientific name is derived from Latin pulmo (the lung). In the times of sympathetic magic, the spotted oval leaves were thought to symbolise diseased, ulcerated lungs, and so were used to treat pulmonary infections.Was used to treat diarrhoea and piles. April - May


   
Mountain sheepsbit (Jasione montana) May - September
Sheepsbit with fly



Common mallow (Malva sylvestris).
It is claimed to have antioxidant, wound healing aid, diuretic and expectorant properties, and to be carminative, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Unproven anti-cancer properties. It has been also commonly consumed in salads or as an ingredient in some recipes. April - September



Marjoram, wild origano.(Origanum vulgare ). Tastes range from spicy or astringent to more complicated and sweet. Often have a bland taste especially the larger, less dense leaves, and is not considered the best for culinary uses compaired to cultivated origano. Hippocrates used oregano as an antiseptic, as well as a cure for stomach and respiratory ailments. July - October


Meadow vetching (Lathyrus pratensis) also known as the Meadow Pea and Meadow pea-vine. A common plant of the pea family.The plant is said to repel mice. It has been used to premote 'respitatory health'. May - August




Milk vetch (Astragalus penduliflorus) July - August




Navelwort (Umbilicus rupestris), aka Penny-pies and Wall Pennywort. It is a fleshy, perennial, edible flowering plant in the stonecrop family, often growing on shady walls or in damp rock crevices. Named for its umbilicate (navel-like) leaves. It is used in Homeopathic practice and had many uses in early English medical practice. The leaves are mildly analgesic. The juice and extract of the plant have an old reputation for the treatment of epilepsy. The leaves were also made into a poultice and used in the treatment of piles, slight burns and scalds. A decoction of the leaves is considered to be cooling and diuretic and the juice taken inwardly is said to be excellent for treating inflammations of the liver and spleen. March - July







Red deadnettle (Lamium purpureum). The leaves, stem, and flowers are all edible. The entire plant is said to be an astringent, styptic, diaphoretic, diuretic, and purgative. A decoction can be made to help with hemorrhaging and the freshly bruised leaves can be applied to external cuts.  A tea have been used as a laxative or tonic. February - October


Iris. While not strictly a wild flower as these probably originated from cultivated plants, there are beautiful displays of self propagating irises in the wild.

 




Narrow-leaved or Sword-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanthera longifolia) is of the orchid family. April - June



Orchid Epipactis helleborine similar to the previous orchid but has a chocolate brown 'tongue'. May - June



Marsh or Spotted Orchid. (dactylorhiza saccifera). It can be quite difficult to identify some of our orchid species. Many are pink or purple and may have spots on the leaves. The petals may be spotted or lined. This one is pale purple with lines and spots on the flowers.
May - July

Early purple orchid (Orchis mascula) has spots on the leaves and a few spots on the flowers
April - May 

Dense - Flowered Orchid (Neotinea maculata) March - May


Provence orchid (Orchis provencialis) has a long white 'tail' on each flower. March - May



Red heleborine orchid (cephalanthera rubra). May - June

 













































Tongue orchid (Serapias lingua)


































































Pink sorrel (Oxalis articulata). May - October

Field poppy (Papaver rhoeas) aka corn poppy, corn rose, Flanders poppy, red poppy.Due to the extent of ground disturbance in warfare during World War 1, corn poppies bloomed in between the trench lines and no man's land on the Western front. It has become a cultural icon to military  vererans, especially veterans of World War 1. March - June

Greater periwinkle (vinca major).
 A useful source of drugs for use in chemotherapy.It has been used to treat high blood pressure and control excessive bleeding. Excess results in hypotension, low blood pressure, which can cause collapse. March - May


Primrose vulgarus.

Young leaves - raw or cooked as a potherb, added to soups etc Flowers - raw or cooked. Salid garnish and can also be used as a cooked vegetable or in conserves etc . Picked when first opened, the flowers are fermented with water and sugar to make a very pleasant and intoxicating wine. Both the flowers and the leaves can be made into a syrup or a tea.

Primroses have a very long history of medicinal use and has been particularly employed in treating conditions involving spasms, cramps, paralysis and rheumatic pains. The plant contains saponins, which have an expectorant effect, and salicylates which are the main ingredient of aspirin and have anodyne, anti-inflammatory and febrifuge effects. The roots and the flowering herb are said to be anodyne, antispasmodic, astringent, emetic, sedative and vermifuge. An infusion of the roots have been recommended as a good remedy against nervous headaches. An ointment has been made from the plant and used for treating skin wounds. March - May





Ragged robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi). An important source of nectar. May - August




Rock stonecrop (sedum rupestre). The leaves of all stonecrops are edible and these are occasionally used for salid leaves. June - July





 Cistus rose (Cistus libanotis).
Recent studies show that a nasal spray made from Cistus extracts may be useful for the prevention and/or treatment of viral and/or bacterial diseases of the oral and pharyngeal cavities. It has been used for the preparation of a medicament for the prevention and treatment of influenza, in particular of the avian flu and viral strains derived from the avian flu in the course of an impending pandemic. May - July




Blackberry (Rubus species) . The black fruit is not a true berry; botanically it is termed an aggregate fruit, composed of small drupelets. May - June


Burnet (Sanguisorba burnet )
Apart from its use in cuisine, as salad (due to its cucumber-like flavor), some burnets are said to have medicinal properties. As the name suggests (sanguisorba means "blood drink") it was originally used to stop internal bleeding and hemorrhages. It also helps healing external wounds and sunburns. Some regarded it as styptic, astringent and cordial.

May - June





Field Scabious (Knautia arvensis). Scabious were used to treat Scabies, and may other afflictions of the skin including sores caused by the Bubonic Plague. June - September


Scarlet pimponel. (Anagallis arvensis). AKA poor man's weather-glass or shepherd's weather glass the Scarlet pimpernel flowers are open only when the sun shines.

Diuretic, diaphoretic and expectorant, the ancient reputation of Scarlet Pimpernel has survived to the present day, especially in dealing with diseases of the brain. Doctors have considered the herb remedial in melancholy and in the allied forms of mental disease, the decoction or a tincture being employed.  

It has been used for epilepsy, feverish complaints, as a preservative in pestilential and contagious diseases, in the first stages of pulmonary consumption, and in obstructions of the liver and spleen. A tincture has also been used for irritability of the urinary passages, having been found effective in cases of stone and gravel. April - October



Thick-leaved Stonecrop (sedum dasyphyllum) Grows in cracks in stone walls. Petal numbers vary from 5 to 7 but are mostly 6. At first glance, it seems the white petals have a pink spot, but theses are the overlying anthers. May - August



Wild strawberry (Fragaria vesca).
Archaeological excavations suggests that Fragaria vesca has been consumed by humans since the Stone Age. The fruit is strongly flavoured, and is still collected and grown for domestic use and on a small scale commercially for the use as an ingredient for commercial jam, sauces, liqueurs, cosmetics and alternative medicine. It is sometimes used as an herbal tea made from the leaves, stems, and flowers to aid in the treatment of diarrhoea.
April - August


Cut leaved Self heal (prunella laciniata). Part of the mint family.The common name derives from the previous use of some species to treat a range of minor disorders such as cuts and inflammations. Dried Prunella is used to make a herbal drink.
The mildly bitter leaves are also good as salad greens.
Prunella vulgaris is also used as an ingredient in some body building supplements as for its anti-estrogenic activity - for which an efficacy has been demonstrated only in mice.
May - September




Self heal (prunella valgari). It is reported to have an antiseptic and antibacterial effect, and to be particularly good in cases of food poisoning. Used and to treat cuts and inflammations. As a food the mildly bitter leaves are also good as for salids. May - July



Sow thistle. (sonchus oleraceus). Edible.  The leaves are useful as salad greens, or cooked like spinach. Blanching or boiling removes bitter flavour. February - October


Ivy-leaved speedwell (veronica hederifolia). It is recommended in alternative medicine as an  antiscorbutic and diuretic. It has been used in the treatment of scurvy, impurities of the blood etc and as a remedy for scrofulous affections, especially of the skin, and is bruised and applied externally for healing burns, ulcers, whitlows and the mitigation of painful piles .March - July.



St john's wort (Hypericum perforatum) aka Tipton's Weed, Chase-devil, or Klamath weed.Widely known as an herbal treatment for depression but has also been used to treat alcoholism, sleep disorders, gram negative bacterial infections and pre-menstral symptoms.
April - June




Storks bill (erodium chium). March - June


White swallow-wort (Cynanchum vincetoxicum). This has been widely used in European traditional medicine as a laxative, diaphoretic,diuretic, emetic and anti-tumor agent.
May - September

Illyrian Scotch Thistle (Onopordum cyprium). Edible.
Has been used to treat cancers. May - July



 Dagger Flower (Mantisalca salmantica). May - August




















































Ivy-leaved toadflax (cymbalaria muralis). This plant has an unusual method of propagation. The flower stalk initially moves towards the light but after fertilization it moves away from the light. This results in seed being pushed into dark crevices of rock walls, where it is more likely to germinate and where it prefers to grow. In this manner, it spreads into inaccessible corners of high wall.
The leaves have been used in salads, being acrid and pungent like cress. Some caution is advised as they are mildly toxic.
A clear yellow dye is obtained from the flowers, though it is not very permanent
A list of parts of Cymbalaria muralis with medicinal uses. The herb is antiscorbutic and vulnerary. It is used externally as a poultice on fresh wounds to stop the bleeding. There are reports that it has been used with success in India for the treatment of diabetes.
April - September
Common toadflax (linaria vulgaris).
Sometimes cultivated for cut flowers which are long-lasting in the vase. It has also been used in folk medicine for a variety of ailments. A tea made from the leaves was taken as a laxative and strong diuretic as well as for jaundice, dropsy, and enteritis with drowsiness. For skin diseases and piles, either a leaf tea or an ointment made from the flowers was used. In addition, a tea made in milk instead of water has been used as an insecticide. It is confirmed to have diuretic and fever-reducing properties. June - October




Tordylium. 

Arastotle said a deer would eat this after giving birth.
March -June


Tuberous hawkbit (leontodon tuberosus).
Has been used as a diuretic and tonic.
Feb - June
 


Urospermum dalechampii

The leaves can be eaten raw in salads but are very bitter

April - August



Great Mullein, (verbascum thapsus).Frequently cultivated for gardens.

Medical properties of the flowers and leaves are said to be anodyne, antiseptic, astringent, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, pectoral and vulnerary. An infusion has been used internally in the treatment of various respiratory complaints including coughs, bronchitis, asthma and throat irritations. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowers in olive oil was used to treat earaches, sores, wounds, boils etc.
May - August






 Common vetch (Vicia sativa). Part of the pea family, vetches are nitrogen fixing plants. Edible.  The tips are said to be an irresistible treat, good in texture, OK in flavor and superb as protein and nitrogen sources. Eat them as is or in salads. The tender young beans and seeds are also said to be desirable eating. February - June


Red pea (lathyrus cicera) February - May


Annual yellow vetch or pea fodder (lathyrus annuus).
March - June.






Wild pea (Pisum sativum L.) was the original model organism used in Mendel’s
discovery (1866) of the laws of inheritance, making it the foundation of modern plant
Genetics. It is is one of the world’s oldest domesticated crops. It was part of the everyday diet of hunter-gatherersat the end of the last Ice Age in the Middle East and Europe.

The seeds cooked or sprouted and eaten raw are a good source of protein.
The seed is said to be contraceptive, fungistatic and spermacidal. The dried and powdered seed has been used as a poultice on the skin where it is said to have an appreciable affect on many types of skin complaint including acne.


April - July


Tufted vetch, cow vetch (Vicia cracca). Nitrogen-fixing, often used as a forage crop for cattle. Good nectar for bees and butterflies. Seeds can be fed to pet birds.
April - August


Viola (Viola tricolor) Related to the pansy.
Also known as heartsease, it has a long history of use in herbalism. It has been recommended, among other uses, for epilepsy, asthma, skin diseases and eczema, as is said to help respiratory problems such as bronchitis, asthma, and cold symptoms. It has a reputation for expectorant properties for chest complaints such as bronchitis and whooping cough and also a diuretic, and used in treating rheumatism and cystitis.

The flowers have also been used to make yellow, green and blue-green dyes, while the leaves can be used to make a chemical indicator. April - September









Wood violet (Viola odorata)

Has been used in the production of many cosmetic fragrances and perfumes.

February - June






Dwarf Pansy (viola kitaibeliana).
Ancient treatment for severe eye inflammations, colds and skin diseases. March - May


Bur forget me not (Lappula myosotis ).

Many legends surround the name "Forget-me-not" from medieval knights to modern romances, regarded as a flower of romance and lovers fate, oft worn by ladies as a sign of faithfulness and enduring love. It was worn as an identifier by German Freemasons during the Second World War when such groups were rigidly persecuted.

Used as a herbal caffine free tea.



Yarrow (Achillea millefolium). AKA common yarrow, gordaldo, nosebleed plant, old man's pepper, devil's nettle, sanguinary, milfoil, soldier's woundwort, thousand-leaf  and thousand-seal. Infusion of concentrated yarrow in oil taken internally were said to produce concentrated treatment for menstrual pain, stomach and intestinal discomfort, and possible even hemorrhoids. Yarrow root was used for soldiers to recover from wounds, as well as those suffering from kidney and stomach bloating and cramping.


The colour of Yarrow varies from white to light blue and pink



Corn marigold or corn daisy  (Glebionis segetum).
Some say the leaves are edible but extreme caution is advised as they may have anti-coagulant properties. March - August



Wood Stitchwort (Stellaria nemorum) May - September








































Squincywort (Asperula cynanchica). Was at one time used to treat quincy.
 June - September


Mediterranean Fleabane (Pulicaria odora). Leaves edable after cooking. May - September





Common Hepatica (Herpatica nobilis)
Renunculus family. Hepatica is named from its leaves, which, like the human liver, have three lobes. Was thought to be an effective treatment for liver disorders (following the doctrine of signatures). Amongst other interesting uses, native American tribes used it to induce vomiting to eliminate bad snake dreams, as a lure for furred animals, as a love spell and as an aid for fortune telling.   It is poisonous in large doses.  Poisonous in large doses but has been used  as an astringent, as a demulcent for slow-healing injuries, and as a diuretic. March - April









White butterbur (Petasites albus)
Seperate non-self fertile male and female flowers. Some species are helpful in treating migraine headaches and the stems are said to taste of asparagus, but they may contain liver toxins. An extract is said to be an effective treatment for hay fever. Leaves lancelate.
March - April




Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria)



This was Wordsworth’s favourite flower. He compared its 'glittering countenance’ to the rising sun. It has been used as a cure for piles and was a popular medieval medication for multiple maladies from sore throat to leprous spots.




Common hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis). Native of SW Asia and the Middle East. Introduced to Europe in 16th century and Used to make perfume. Leaves are basal, linear. Probably the ‘lily of the valleys’ referred to in the bible. February - April


Cretan valerian (valeriana asarifolia).



Basal leaves very large and kidney or heartshaped. Stem leaves smaller, long and narrow. Valerian is used to treat Stress, Anxiety, Restlessness and promote sleep. April - May