The English countryside is full of stunning wildflowers that bloom at various times of year.
They come in a range of colors, shapes, and sizes and can make your outdoor adventures so much more special. Here are some of the best English wildflowers that you should look out for on your next adventure.
Corncockle is a herbaceous annual flowering plant in the same family as carnations. They are considered to be a common weed, but have beautiful pink flowers that thrive in fields and meadows.
The roots and seeds have medicinal properties, and it is a great plant for attracting bees and other pollinators. This flower blooms in midsummer and the plant can reach heights of over 3 feet.
This flower prefers full sun so you will usually find it in open areas where it won’t be inhibited by the shade. It also likes well-drained soil, so you are unlikely to spot it close to a large body of water or along the bank of a river.
Ramsons is more commonly known as wild garlic. It releases a strong scent which is off putting to many animals. It grows best in moist woodland where the soil is rich and the sunlight is dappled or indirect.
Wild garlic is edible, but it has a much more delicate flavor than standard garlic. It also has various medicinal properties.
This plant is quite aggressive and spreads quickly. If you find it in the wild it will likely cover a large area, establishing itself in the spaces between trees or small openings in woodland.
It is sometimes referred to as ‘bear’s garlic’ as folklore suggests that bears would eat wild garlic to help them regain their strength after hibernation.
3. Pyramid Orchid
The pyramid orchid is a perennial that thrives in mild climates. It blooms in the midsummer and is usually found in alkaline grassland or in chalky soils. It is also commonly found in coastal areas or even in disused quarries.
The flowers are not actually in the shape of a pyramid, but they grow upwards in a spike at the top of the long stems.
This plant is pollinated by butterflies and moths which makes it an important part of the ecosystem. The pink flowers are very pretty and provide a welcome burst of color to the landscape.
They are much more hard-wearing than domestically grown orchids.
4. Wood Anemone
As the name suggests, these flowers grow in woodland, and they are in the same family as buttercups. They can also be found in meadows and hedgerows.
They require some sunlight to bloom, so you tend to find them in the gaps between the trees where the sun can reach the ground. The flowers tend to be white but also come in pale blue colors.
This flower has an interesting symbolism. The Ancient Greeks thought that wood anemone was a sign of an early death due to their short flowering season. The plant features in European mythology, and is considered to be the plant of the devil.
5. Cow Parsley
Cow parsley is a very common plant found in hedgerows. The foliage is green, dotted with delicate, white flowers. It is a short lived perennial plant, and is annual in cooler climates.
However, it self-seeds and will easily spread and will return year after year once it has established itself in an area. It likes partial shade, so you can also find these flowers along the edge of woodland and on roadside verges.
This is a humble plant, but is very charming. The tiny plants have a billowing quality which creates that romantic, English Countryside feel.
6. Sea Thrift
Sea thrift creates a spread of round pink flowers on top of a spray of green foliage, giving the effect of a pin cushion. It gets its name as it is found along the coast, often on cliff edges overlooking the sea.
The foliage is low-growing but the stems can get quite high in the right conditions.
This plant tends to prefer sunny spots, which is why you tend to spot it in exposed areas. This means it is quite a hardy plant, as it has to cope with various elements at high altitudes.
This is surprising given the delicate appearance of the flowers. Whilst the most common color is pink, it also comes in purple and white varieties.
The common daisy, also called the English daisy, can grow in fields and pastures and practically any stretch of grass. Each daisy tends to last between 7 to 10 days, but there are so many that they still manage to be prominent for the whole summer.
Daisies are very versatile and can handle wet or dry climates as well as sunny or shady areas. You find them at low or high altitudes, and they are very common. Most varieties are perennial, and will return year after year.
This wildflower is also called the marsh marigold, as it is usually found in marshland. They like rich, damp soils and muddy conditions so you can also find them in wetlands, damp woods, or along the banks of streams and rivers.
They bloom with a vibrant yellow flower that provides a lovely pop of color to those shady areas.
Parts of this plant are edible and it also has medicinal uses. Each plant tends to be 2 foot high and 2 foot wide, and there will usually be multiple plants in one area. They attract various pollinating insects including bees.
Harebells have a similar appearance to bluebells, but they form single flowers instead of clusters on one stem. They sway in the breeze and have an enchanting appearance with pale blue flowers.
Though they are native to Scotland, they are found in abundance across all of Britain.
This plant can thrive in a variety of habitats, but it prefers dry, grassy areas. It can be found on sand dunes, under bracken and even on the top of mountains. The soil can be chalky and alkaline, or on acid heaths.
The only condition that will stop harebells from growing is damp and soggy soils.
The cornflower is also called Bachelor’s button and is a tall blue flower that stands out against any landscape. It starts blooming in May and continues through to midsummer.
Domestically grown cornflowers will continue to bloom into the fall if they are maintained and deadheaded. It traditionally grew as a weed in cornfields, which is where it got its name.
This plant is annual, but it will multiply under the right conditions and usually returns year after year to the same area once it is established.
11. Lily Of The Valley
Lily of the valley is a woodland flowering plant that also likes limestone. The flowers are white and bell-shaped, dangling from upright stems. They have an enchanting and romantic appearance.
The plant is dangerous for animals as it is very toxic, so make sure you keep your pets away from it.
The flowers tend to appear in the middle of spring, but it can be earlier in mild conditions. They tend to bloom for at least 4 weeks. They have a very sweet and fresh scent which has been compared to Jasmine.
It is a crisp and green fragrance which is reminiscent of spring.
Foxglove is a woodland plant that enjoys partial shade with some afternoon sun. The lifespan of the plant takes two years, and once they are established in an area they will spread and multiply. Bees love this plant, and it is an important source of nectar for them.
Although foxglove is a woodland plant, you will also find them on coastal cliffs and moorlands as well as wasteland and roadside verges. They are hardy plants that can withstand various conditions and climates.
The flowers come in different colors, including pink, white and purple.
13. Sea Holly
Sea holly is found in sand dunes and is a rare find. If you do spot it, you are in for a treat. It blooms in summer and fall with blue and lilac flowers and silvery foliage. It looks almost magical or other-worldly.
It tends to grow in sandy soil, which is dry with low fertility. Some of the larger varieties need more moisture in order to grow.
The English bluebell is one of the most well known wildflowers and is an early spring bloomer. It is usually one of the first flowers to be seen after winter, and shoots out of the ground with vibrant green stems and stunning blue flowers.
Bluebells tend to prefer shady and damp areas, and can usually be found at the base of trees and on the forest floor.
These stunning flowers all grow in England in various types of habitat. Whatever your outdoor adventure is, you should keep an eye out for these lovely flowers.