Monday, 30 June 2014

White Flowers in Spring Park in Spring

Wild Radish, Raphanus raphanistrum.  Spring Park, 28 April 2014.
Wild Radish, Raphanus raphanistrum.  Spring Park, 28 April 2014.
This goes back to April, when I led a walk in Spring Park.  It was already well into the flowering season in the local woods.  Many woodland flowers come out early on, before the tree canopy can shade them out.

But this one was in the meadow below the woods.  Flowers of the Wild Radish can be yellow or white.  But if you dig them up, you won't find any tasty salad vegetables whatever their flower colour.

White-flowered English Bluebell, Hyacinthoides non-scripta.  Spring Park, 28 April 2014.
White-flowered English Bluebell, Hyacinthoides non-scripta.  Spring Park, 28 April 2014.
Spring Park is a lovely bluebell wood in season.  A few white-flowered plants always occur, standing out in the mass of blue.  This is a true wild English bluebell, not to be confused with the hybrid variety, often grown as a garden plant, which can also be seen in the wild as a garden escape.  You will see white and pink forms much more often among the hybrids.

Pignut, Conopodium majus.  Spring Park, 28 April 2014.
Pignut, Conopodium majus.  Spring Park, 28 April 2014.
Much less common in the woods is Pignut, looking rather like a feeble Cow-parsley but with much more finely divided leaves.  It has an edible nut-like tuberous root.  I refrain from digging it up because there is so little of it here.

Three-cornered Leek or Three-cornered Garlic, Allium triquetrum.  Spring Park, 28 April 2014.
Three-cornered Leek or Three-cornered Garlic, Allium triquetrum.  Spring Park, 28 April 2014.
This is quite another story.  It's an invasive plant which is against the law to spread.  This small stand is at the top of the wood and I took half of it home to eat.  It has a mild garlicky flavour and the whole plant is edible.  You just need to be careful and wash any wild-gathered plants thoroughly, because of dog walkers and the like.

Ramsons, Allium ursinum.  Spring Park, 4 May 2014.
Ramsons, Allium ursinum.  Spring Park, 4 May 2014.
Coincidentally, these Ramsons are also garlic-flavoured edible plants, but these are natural inhabitants of our ancient woods and should not be picked. 

Narrow-Leaved Water-plantain, Alisma lanceolatum.  Spring Park, 4 May 2014.
Narrow-Leaved Water-plantain, Alisma lanceolatum.  Spring Park, 4 May 2014.
Narrow-leaved Water Plantains grow in a pond at the bottom of the wood.  It is a construct, made a decade ago where it is thought there used to be a pond long ago.  It is fed by one of the springs that give the wood its name.

Three-nerved Sandwort, Moehringia trinervia.  Spring Park, 4 May 2014.
Three-nerved Sandwort, Moehringia trinervia.  Spring Park, 4 May 2014.
The Three-nerved Sandwort looks very much like the common Chickweed that grows everywhere in suburbia.  It has five leaf veins seen from above, but from below, specially on the new leaves, three veins are prominent.

There are other white-flowered plants than these, but this is all for now!


  1. These are most informative! That wild leek/garlic is abundant in my back yard. I didn't know it was edible (raw, I suppose? in scrambled eggs? in potato soup?). As you know, I don't get any of your bluebells, but now I know how to identify the wild radish, nice just to look at.

    1. As long as you're quite sure it's the same plant! The Three-cornered Leek has triangular flower stems which you can feel quite easily.