Tuesday, 30 July 2013

What plants are flowering in our annual meadows?

If you wonder what is flowering in our annual flower meadows have a look at our little photo ID guide below to help you to recognise the annual flowers. Many of the annual plants will probably look familiar as they are also often planted in gardens.

Californian poppy (Eschscholzia californica):
Flowering time: June-August
Bright orange, yellow or even orange-red (see picture below) cup-shaped flowers and finely divided grey-green leaves.

Virginia stock (Malcomia maritima):
Flowering time: June-July
Small scented pink, purple and white flowers with 4 petals. Small oval grey-green leaves.
Sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima):
Flowering time: June-July
Clusters of small white flowers which have a strong honey-like scent. Small rounded leaves.

Showy baby`s breath (Gypsophila elegans):
Flowering time: July-August
White flowers on tall slender stems (in picture growing together with field poppy). Lanceolate opposite leaves.
Red flax (Linum grandiflorum):
Flowering time: July-August
Bright red or salmon flowers on slender stems.
Small lance-shaped waxy leaves.
Field poppy (Papaver rhoeas):
Flowering time: June-August
Bright red cup-shaped flowers on tall hairy stems. Hairy pinnate leaves.
Pot marigold (Calendula officinalis):
Flowering time: June-October
Flower heads with bright yellow or orange ray and disc flowers. Oblong-lanceolate hairy leaves.
Borage (Borago officinalis):
Flowering time: June-August
Bright blue, white, pink or purple star-like flowers and big very hairy leaves which smell of cucumber when crushed.
Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus):
Flowering time: July-October
Flower heads with pink ray flowers and yellow disc flowers on tall stems. Finely divided leaves.
Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus):
Flowering time: July-August
Flower heads with bright blue, pink, purple or white ray and disc flowers (in picture growing together with yarrow (on the left)) on tall grey-green stems. Grey-green lanceolate leaves.
Cosmidium (Thelesperma burridgeanum) and Golden tickseed (Coreopsis tinctoria) :
Flowering time: August-October
Flower heads with yellow and dark-red to brown ray flowers and brown disk flowers on tall stems. Cosmidium has very narrow finely divided leaves whereas Golden tickseed leaves  are a little bit broader. Another clue is the colour variation of the flowers. Cosmidium has mostly flowers which are yellow with a brown center. Golden tickseed shows a bit more variation and has also flowers which are either nearly all yellow or all dark red. Otherwise both plants look very similar and are not easy to distinguish from each other.

The plant to the right is most likely Golden tickseed (Coreopsis tinctoria)
Golden tickseed can have flowers which are dark-red

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