Wildflowers – January

Pink

Red Dead-Nettle

Red Dead-Nettle

A low erect/sprawling annual to 40cms, with a pink/purple flower. A familiar weed of cultivation.

Flowers January to December. This was at the edge of a field near Peel Hall. They are also very common on the banks in Smithy Lane from Ashton Brook towards the railway bridge.

White

Common Chickweed

Common Chickweed

A very common annual weed, prostrate and crawling to 50cms. Loves cultivated ground and bare places on rich soil. It seeds prolifically and is established around most of the world.

It has been used as a culinary plant since the Middle Ages. It can be eaten raw or cooked as a vegetable similar to Spinach. .However it has a high Saponin content and some authorities warn against eating it. Medicinally it is claimed to have soothing and cooling properties and has been used for poultices or as an ointment

It flowers January to December. This was found up Station Road.

Daisy

Daisy

 A low perennial to 10cms which prefers short grassland or preferably a well cut lawn. It can be found in flower virtually any time of year depending on the weather.

In the past it was claimed to have numerous medicinal properties chiefly for use on wounds, hence its alternative name of bruisewort. This example was photographed on the edge of pavilion paying field.

Yellow

Groundsel

Groundsel

A very common annual of the daisy family that grows to 30 cm. Flowers comprise composites of yellow florets, typically 4-5 mm (usually unrayed) in loose clusters. The florets are mostly hidden by the bracts and give the flowers an appearance of not being fully open. Leaves are long, lobed and ragged and are stalked low down the stem, but unstalked further up the stem. The flowers turn fluffy and white as the plant seeds. Likes disturbed ground such as field edges, roadside verges and waste ground.

Reported as being toxic and capable of causing liver damage.

Flowers all year. The plant illustrated was growing near the footpath on Station Rd, Mouldsworth.

Hazel

Hazel

A tall shrub to 6m beloved for its ‘lambstail’ catkins. The catkins are yellow and male and the female flower is the brilliant tiny bright red style on the stem above. The plant is normally found with oak, scrub and in hedges.

The shrub produces an edible hazelnut much loved by squirrels.

Flowers January to March. This was amongst hedgerow plants up near Peel Hall.