Tag Archives: wildflowers

Kenilworth Ivy or Ivy-Leaved Toadflax, Cymbalaria muralis, was originally native to Mediterranean Europe but has been naturalized to the UK and parts of the USA for hundreds of years. It is widely planted in rock gardens and along garden pathways. This hardy snapdragon-like plant is an edible and a Stepable Plant that matures to just a few inches tall, but is often found creeping along or cascading over a stone wall or ledge, the whole plant being several feet long. The purple toadflax-like flowers have two lips with bright yellow spots on the lower one. Flowers draw back into the soil or rock crevice once fertilized.

Cymbalaria muralis climbing toadflax kenilworth ivy vine purple lipped wildflowers rock garden steps

Climbers by U of M
First Nature
Wild Plants of Malta
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Common Heather, Calluna vulgaris, is a dominant plant in European moorland, and can also be found in some bog areas and pine forests. This hardy species of heath has come to be naturalized in parts of North America and Asia and is often cultivated in rock gardens around the world. There are close to 1000 different cultivars of this once-humble species, varying in growth form, flower color, flowering time, and other features. The natural species has tiny scale-like leaves and mostly pink flowers, and blooms in late summer.

 
Calluna vulgaris common scotch heather heath flowers wildflowers moor europe

ARKive   —   Wikipedia   —   EOL
YouTube video   —   UCONN Plants
How to Grow Heathers and Heaths

When my children were young, our family knew mallows as “cheeses” because their seeds come in a fun little package similar to a cheese wheel. The seeds are edible, so we used to hunt them down and have fun opening up the little wheels and crunching on the nutty little seeds. They are tiny, so this was more for fun than for nutrition. Common Mallow, Malva sylvestris, has one of the broadest geographical ranges of all mallows, and is also heavily researched for its medicinal properties. Many cultivars of mallow are also available for your gardening pleasure.

Malva sylvestris common mallow north american world wildflowers medicinal pink purple

Encyclopedia of Life
iNaturalist
Nature Gate
SEINet — Arizona Chapter
Permaculture – UK

The American Goldfinch, Spinus tristis, is one of North America’s last birds to get started building a family. In July, when other bird families include fledglings aplenty, the thistles are just starting to bloom. This signals the conspicuous bright yellow male goldfinch and his olive colored mate to start building a nest, constructed mostly of thistle down. When the eggs finally hatch, the thistles have gone to seed — the perfect time to start feeding chicks! Parent goldfinches serve their nestlings a milky cereal-like substance made of thistle seed — the bird world’s closest thing to mammal milk!

Spinus tristis male american goldfinch on thistles birds north america backyard yellow black white

eNatureBlog
Audubon
All About Birds
BirdNote
ARKive

The American Bittersweet vine, Celastrus scandens, is native to central and eastern North America, but is unfortunately being replaced by a non-native invasive species, the Oriental Bittersweet, Celastrus orbiculatus. Our native species has alternate, oval, fine-toothed leaves and berry-like fruits that start out green, change to yellow then orange, then finally split open to reveal the 3-part fruit interior shown below. The fruits are poisonous to humans but eaten widely by birds and mammals, from wild turkeys to eastern cottontails. When growing up a young sapling, bittersweet vines can choke out and even kill their host, but typically it causes no real damage.

american climbing bittersweet yellow red orange berries north america plants vines woods forest Celastrus scandens

Climbing Bittersweet
Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden
Minnesota Wildflowers
NC State University Extension
Missouri Botanical Garden

This uniquely patterned flower goes by several names including Checkered Lily, Snake’s Head Fritillary, and Guinea Hen Flower. It is Fritillaria meleagris, the genus name meaning (basically) checkered and the species name referring to guinea fowl. This plant is native to Eurasia from the UK across into western Russia. It is also widely grown as a spring bulb in gardens all across the USA. Certainly planting a few of these bulbs would provide a new conversation starter for any garden!

Snake's Head Fritillary Fritillaria meleagris checkered lily ornamental eurasian france red purple spotted checkerboard pattern unusual

KEW Botanical Gardens
Encyclopedia of Life
Wikipedia
Pacific Bulb Society
Paghat’s Garden

My Evening Primrose

This gallery contains 1 photos.

I feel very blessed to have a personal knowledge of this lowly little plant. It was one of the first wildflowers I got to know when I moved here to Texas, and it shows up in abundance in both my … Continue reading

I just love this name: the Spiny Cream Spider Flower! This shrub grows up to about 6 feet tall, in the outback of Western Australia. It usually flowers twice per year and its leaves are slightly prickly and finely divided. Straight white hairs line the branches and the fruit looks like wrinkly green bean seeds.

spiny cream spider flower western australia flora grevillea anethifolia bush shrub outback plants

Esperance Wildflowers
Western Australia Flora
Atlas of Living Australia
Plant This

Common Cotton Grass, Eriophorum angustifolium, is found in the northern regions of North America, Europe, and Asia. The fluffy white seedheads cannot be used to make clothing like cotton, but it has been used in wound dressings (padding) and as pillow stuffing. This species of cotton grass has translucent pink roots that have been used as an astringent and to treat digestive troubles.

cotton grass Eriophorum angustifolium species plant alpine mountains bog northern

Encyclopedia of Life: pics!
Wikipedia (very informative article)
Nature’s Notebook
Other types of cotton grass

The silk floss tree, Ceiba speciosa, is related to baobob and kapok trees and features the family’s swollen trunk. Not only does it have huge showy flowers up to 6 inches across, but its bark is covered in spikelets that hold water. As if it weren’t unique enough already, when young the trunk of this tree is green with chlorophyll, performing some of the photosynthesis for the plant. With age, the trunk turns grey.

Watch the nearly silent video tour of a silk floss tree, and click the links below the video to learn more — including how it got its name!

Wikipedia
Top Tropicals (*nice pics!)
FloriData

Silk Floss Tree

The lowly wintergreen, Gaultheria procumbens, grows only 4 to 6 inches tall but features bright white nodding flowers that morph into bright red edible berries, and leaves that give us the familiar wintergreen flavor. A North American wildflower, it grows on the forest floor of most of the eastern half of the United States. Watch the video to learn to identify this plant with ease.

Range map & info
Gardener’s Notes!

Wintergreen

Wintergreen flowers look a lot like little blueberry flowers. That’s because they are in the same family — Ericaceae. Wintergreen flowers turn into bright red berries and the leaves are used as a wildwood tea. The berries are edible, but not in the quantities of delicious blueberries.

wintergreen white flowers wildflowers north america eastern gaultheria procumbens ericaceae

Wintergreen grows wild in eastern North American woodlands. It is only 4 to 6 inches tall, but you can find its reddish to dark green evergreen leaves at any time of the year, even under the snow.

Encyclopedia of Life
Plants for a Future
Paghat’s Garden

The Silk Tassel Bush, Garrya elliptica, is a serpentine endemic plant — meaning it can grow on soils that (for one thing) contain high concentrations of chromium and nickel.
This is truly a heavy metal plant! 😀
It is native to the West coast of the USA — California and Oregon. Check out the links below the pic for closeups of those crazy dangling flowers!

silk tassel bush serpentine endemic plant west coast california wildflower oregon garrya elliptica dangling flowers

San Fran Botanical Garden
Sonoma County Master Gardeners
Dave’s Garden (nice pics!)
California Native Plant Society
Plant Lust

This amazing little European wildflower, Arum maculatum, is not only poisonous, but it is also known by about 100 different names!
Watch this short but informative video — or click the link above — to learn more! 😀

Arum maculatum Video

This interesting little European wildflower, Arum maculatum, is known by somewhere around 100 different names! Find out just some of these by clicking the picture and links below!

arum maculatum lords and ladies cuckoo plant pint uk united kingdom wildflowers europe

Wildscreen ARKive
A Modern Herbal
Easy Wildflowers
Wildflower Finder
Gardening Know-How

Click the pic to find out how this plant came back from the dead!

cafe marron ramosmania rodriguesii threatened endangered tree shrub plant species wild coffee

More on this endangered species:
Arkive
iNaturalist

The wooly white Edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum) is endangered due to over-collection. The alpine flower has a long history of use as a folk remedy and lover’s sign of devotion. Ever heard the famous song by the name “Edelweiss“? You may recognize it’s melody.

edelweiss leontopodium alpinum switzerland botanical potion song austria

What is Edelweiss?
Growing Edelweiss
Video by Dior

Here is an edible weed that might just be covering a part of your yard!
The low-growing common chickweed tastes great in salad or boiled as greens.
Click the links below for chickweed recipes!

common chickweed stellaria media groundcover low growing plants edible salad

Eat the Weeds
Stellaria species
Edible Wild Food

The common chickweed (Stellaria media) is common indeed!
I used to find this growing everywhere in Michigan, but haven’t seen it here in Texas.

arkive plants weeds chickweed edible growing green white flowers star stellaria media common

More on this lowly edible plant:
Weed Gallery
Arkive (wow! they have plants, too!)
Kingdom Plantae

Borage is such a popular herb and wildflower that it has its botanical family named after it — Boraginaceae (about 2000 species)!

borage borago officinalis blue sky background beauty wildflower herb

Click the links above for Wikipedia, click the pic for the best online article, or click below for more info on this beloved herb!

A Modern Herbal
Plants for a Future
Illinois Wildflowers (great pics!)
Seedaholic (lots on cultivation)