Way2go4 Walking Holidays News

Wild flowers we have found walking the coast in Cornwall & Devon

First Posted by Updated December 28, 2016

Hundreds of different wild flowers can be found when walking along the coast path and during the course of our guided walking holidays we get the chance to observe many flowers throughout the season.

Below you will find some of the varieties of wild flowers that we have photographed as we travel along.

Agrimony Agrimony

Characteristics: Long spires make this an unusual member of the rose family. Between 20 and 80 cm tall. The leaflets have a grey-green, hairy underside and are coarsely toothed. The flowers are yellow and are produced on a long erect stem.

Habitat: Tall grassland, scrub, road verges and meadows.

Alexanders Alexanders

Characteristics: Said to be brought in to the UK by the Romans as a foodstuff this grows vigorously in salt air. The large leaves set it apart from similar species and the flowers have a pungent smell.

Habitat: Sea Cliffs, Roadsides and Wasteland.

Bastard Balm Bastard Balm

Characteristics: Generally scarce but prolific where found this plant is easy to recognise with its large multi-coloured flowers. 40 - 70 cm high.

Habitat: Hedgerows Woodland Glades.

Betony Betony

Characteristics: The flowers can be a variety of colours such as yellow, purple and white. Each flower has an upper and lower lip, the upper lip forms a hood over the flower and the lower one has 3 lobes.

Habitat: Grassy Margins, Woodland and Hedgerows

Bird In A Bush Bird In A Bush

Characteristics: With distinctive leaves this member of the Corydalis family is easy to identify and may be found cultivated in gardens.

Habitat: Open Woodland and disturbed ground.

Common Birds Foot Trefoil Common Birds Foot Trefoil

Characteristics: Herbs with 5 leaflets to each leaf. The flowers are yellow or orange.

Habitat: Grassland, Heath , Moor and Coastline

Bitter Vetch Bitter Vetch

Characteristics: This vetch can be identified by its irregular coloured flowers and leaf shape.

Habitat: Woodland Paths and Hedgerows

Bittersweet Bittersweet

Characteristics: The flowers of this plant are instantly reconisable and are similar to those of the related potato and tomato. The plant also produces berrys often seen in clusters of red and green. This plant is highly poisonous although was once used medicinally.

Habitat: Climbing Over Other Vegitation in Marsh, Scrub and Costal Fringes

Black Medick Black Medick

Characteristics: This is identified from other clovers by its yellow peaflowers and tiny black seed pods.

Habitat: Grassland

BlackThorn BlackThorn

Characteristics: The thorney bush is widley use in hedges and the tiny white flowers are often the first flower to be seen after winter.

Habitat: Hedgerows

Bluebell Bluebell

Characteristics: Bluebells, as we know them, grow only in north-western Europe, with the British Isles being their main stronghold. Bluebells can carpet the ground in suitable woodland almost to the exclusion of other plants.

Habitat: Woodland

Bugle Bugle

Characteristics: The flower has a very short upper lip and comparatively large, three lobed, lower lip. Inside the flower tube is a ring of hairs.

Habitat: Woodland, Grassland, Scrub and Hedgerows

Bush Vetch Bush Vetch

Characteristics: The leaves of this vetch are more upright and grouped and this climber is does not travel far.

Habitat: Grassland, Scrub and Hedgerows

Cats Ear Cats Ear

Characteristics: Easily dismissed as "Another plant that looks like a Dandelion". However, closer inspection will reveal many differences. The leaves are in a rosette, from which is produced a branched flowering stalk. A leafless flower stalks of this kind is known as a scape. This scape gets thicker beneath each flower head. The flowers are bright yellow. The achenes are cylindrical and have a single row of feathered hairs around one end.

Habitat: Grassland, Meadows and Verges

Comfrey Comfrey

Characteristics: The flowers are a creamy-white colour or purplish. Distinctive in having strongly winged stem.

Habitat: Damp Grassland and Verges

Common Cow Wheat Common Cow Wheat

Characteristics: The yellow floors of this plant stand out in the late summer particulary in woodland glades and paths.

Habitat: Shady Woodland Paths

Common Dodder Common Dodder

Characteristics: A parasitic plant usually found on cliffs growing on Gorse.

Habitat: Cliffs and Moorland

Common Field Speedwell Common Field Speedwell

Characteristics: Small blue flowers mostly in grassland.

Habitat: Culitvated Grassland

Fleabane Fleabane

Characteristics: A member of the Daisy family, this flower was once burnt to rid houses of fleas. It can be identified by the flat top to the centre of the flower.

Habitat: Grassland, Meadows and Ditches

Common Scurvy Grass Common Scurvy Grass

Characteristics: A succulent this is typical of many costal plants. Mostly found on rocky outcrops but also in hedgerows close to coast.

Habitat: Coastline and Coastal Fringes

Common Toadflax Common Toadflax

Characteristics: The long flower makes this plant quite distinctive and very attractive.

Habitat: Grassland, disturbed soil, hedge banks and waste places

Common Vetch Common Vetch

Characteristics: The most common of vetch growing in a wide range of cultivated land.

Habitat: Grassland, Verges, Wasteland

Creeping Buttercup Creeping Buttercup

Characteristics: This Buttercup is quite common and appears on grassland of all types.

Habitat: Grassland, Verges, Wasteland

Dame's Violet Dame's Violet

Characteristics: Found in very damp areas of woodland and also on river banks.

Habitat: Damp Woodland and River Banks

Dog Rose Dog Rose

Characteristics: There are several different species of Dog Rose with flowers pink or white. It is a common shrub and climber with hooked prickles on the stems.

Habitat: Coastal Scrub and Hedgerows.

Early Purple Orchid Early Purple Orchid

Characteristics: This can be easily identified by the large purple blotches on the leaves even before the flower has appeared.

Habitat: Grassland, Woodland, Verges and Hedgerows

Enchanters Nightshade Enchanters Nightshade

Characteristics: Tiny white flowers make it visible in the dark wooded areas it habitats.

Habitat: Dark Woodland and Similar Shaded Areas

English Stonecrop English Stonecrop

Characteristics: Prolific succulent on coastline and rock outcrops the flower buds are red in contrast with the rich green of the plant. White flowers bust out of the buds to change the appearance dramatically.

Habitat: Coastline, Rocks, Short Turf.

Eyebright Eyebright

Characteristics: There are many different species of this plant but all have the same two lipped flowers with the lower being three lobed. Flowers are usually white or lilac with a yellow blotch and purple streaks.

Habitat: Grassland, Heaths and Woodland Clearings.

Field Pansy Field Pansy

Characteristics: This small plant is often seen at the margins of arable fields or bare ground.

Habitat: Arable Fields.

Field Rose Field Rose

Characteristics: Dwarfed by the salt winds this rose can be seen on the cliffs of the North Devon coast. Very small it is easy to overlook.

Habitat: Coastal Margins.

Foxglove Foxglove

Characteristics: Unmistakable tall flowers found in scrub and hedgerows.

Habitat: Scrub and Hedgerows

Garlic Mustard Garlic Mustard

Characteristics: With large triangular leaves this plant is seen in hedges and verges in early spring. The white flowers appear on the tips of the stems and later it has long seed pods. The plant has a smell of garlic and has been used as a culinary herb.

Habitat: Hedgerows, Verges and Woodland Margins.

Gorse Gorse

Characteristics: Widespread on coastal cliffs and scrub this spiky yellow flowered shrub flowers much of the year and has a smell of coconuts.

Habitat: Costal scrub, cliffs and heathland.

Great Willowherb Great Willowherb

Characteristics: A hairy plant up to 1.5m tall with rounded leaf stems and pink flowers.

Habitat: Damp Hedgerows, River Banks and Ditches.

Greater Stitchwort Greater Stitchwort

Characteristics: Seen in woodlands, this white flowers really brighten the spring. The flowers have five notched petals with yellow stamens.

Habitat: Woodland, Shady Hedgerow Margins.

Hawthorn Hawthorn

Characteristics: A common hedgerow shrub whose leaf buds appear just before the flowers unlike the similar Blackthorn. Red berries appear in Autumn and often last throughout the winter.

Habitat: Hedgerows and Dense Scrub.

Heath Dog Violet Heath Dog Violet

Characteristics: Similar to the common Dog Violet this plant is found in damp grassland and heath. The flower is very delicate and pale blue has dark veins on the lower petal.

Habitat: Grassy Heath land and Coastal Fringes.

Heather Heather

Characteristics: Found all along the coastal this brings a flush of pink to the coastline. It grows slowly and lives a long time.

Habitat: Coastal cliffs and heath land.

Hedge Woundwort Hedge Woundwort

Characteristics: This grows in dark woodland where it's matt purple flowers do not stand out very well. The leaves are distinctive with their heart shape and finely toothed edges.

Habitat: Woodland Margins and Damp Hedgerows.

Herb Robert Herb Robert

Characteristics: one of the most frequent flowering plants, easily recognised by the purple stems and pink flowers.

Habitat: Walls, Hedges and Verges.

Honesty Honesty

Characteristics: Although originally introduced as a garden plant now naturalised in th UK. The large purple or white flowers and heart shaped leaves make this quite distinctive along with the transparent seed heads.

Habitat: Verges, Wasteland and Cultivated Land.

Ivy Leaved Toadflax Ivy Leaved Toadflax

Characteristics: A creeping hairless plant with thread stems. Leaves have long stalks with 5-7 lobes. The flowers are also long stalked and are pale violet with a yellow spot.

Habitat: Rocks, Walls and Scree.

Kidney Vetch Kidney Vetch

Characteristics: Woolly yellow flowers in heads. Basal leaves in simple fashion with a few leaflets.

Habitat: Rocks, Coastal Scrub.

Common Knapweed Common Knapweed

Characteristics: Identified by its slender leaves this knapweed is often seen isolated on grassland and scrub that is not grazed.

Habitat: Grassland and Scrub

Lesser Celandine Lesser Celandine

Characteristics: Often seen on the edges of woodland paths, this yellow flower is a welcome sight in early spring. The leaves are heart shaped and quite fleshy.

Habitat: Woodland, Damp Meadows and Scrub.

Common Lungwort Common Lungwort

Characteristics: A creeping plant found often in woodland and sometimes at the base of hedges.

Habitat: Woodland and Hedgerows

Marsh Marigold Marsh Marigold

Characteristics: Broad shiny leaved, heart shaped with fine toothed margins. The flowers are very bright shiny yellow which makes the plant stand out very boldly in its habitat.

Habitat: Stream Edges, Damp Meadows and Wet Woodland.

Meadow Vetchling Meadow Vetchling

Characteristics: A Straggling plant with yellow flowers very visible in the scrub or meadow margins. The leaves are similar to common vetch.

Habitat: Scrub, Meadows and Woodland Margins.

Navelwort Navelwort

Characteristics: Also known as Pennywort this is found growing in a wide variety of damp places. The leaves are very fleshy and round with an indentation as it joins the stem.

Habitat: Damp Walls, Rocks and Damp Woodland.

Oxeye Daisy Oxeye Daisy

Characteristics: A perennial found in dry grassy places often on coastal cliffs.

Habitat: Coastal Scrub, Meadows and Disturbed Ground.

Periwinkle Periwinkle

Characteristics: Trailing plant seen in shady hedges and walls with bright violet to purple flowers.

Habitat: Hedges, Woodland and Scrub.

Primrose Primrose

Characteristics: One of the first spring flowers, the primrose flowers each have their own stalk with orange markings in the centres.

Habitat: Woodland glades, embankments and on the meadow margins

Purple Toadflax Purple Toadflax

Characteristics: An introduced plant, found sometimes on walls this flowers has dense violet flowers.

Habitat: Walls, Verges and Waste ground.

Ragwort Ragwort

Characteristics: Hairy to hairless plant growing to 1m tall. Mass of leaf stems with clusters of yellow flowers. This plant is poisonous and is a problem for horses and sheep as it destroys the liver so is incurable.

Habitat: Meadows and Grassland.

Red Campion Red Campion

Characteristics: Hairy and tall with purple flowers from reddish stems. Found in all manner of places and flowering sometimes in mild winter weather.

Habitat: Wet Woodland, Rich Meadows and Verges.

Red Clover Red Clover

Characteristics: Bright lush clover with large pinkish red flower heads seen in meadows and other grassy places.

Habitat: Footpaths, Meadows, Costal Fringes.

Restharrow Restharrow

Characteristics: This tough rooted creeper is very tough and is seen at field margins and permanent pasture.

Habitat: Pasture and Grassy Areas.

Rhododendron Rhododendron

Characteristics: Introduced from the Himalayas, this woody shrub is said to be the world’s most prolific weed as it becomes rampant in woodland excluding other growth.

Habitat: Woodland.

Rosebay Willowherb Rosebay Willowherb

Characteristics: Upright plant growing up to 1.6m tall with long leafy stems and lots of purple flowers along the stem.

Habitat: Damp Verges and Woodland Clearings.

Sanicle Sanicle

Characteristics: Small umbels of white flowers on long stems make this plant quite unusual. The leaves are deeply lobed and have three or five deep cut lobes.

Habitat: Shady Woodland and Hedgerow Margins.

Scarlet Pimpernel Scarlet Pimpernel

Characteristics: Small plant in grassy places it has a very distinctive reddish flower with a purple centre. Easily overlooked

Habitat: Grassland and Coastal Scrub Margins.

Sea Carrot Sea Carrot

Characteristics: This unusual plant is relative to the carrot and grows along the coastline.

Habitat: Coastal Cliff paths.

Sea Campion Sea Campion

Characteristics: Clump forming on costal grass and cliffs with purple veined buds that open to white flowers. Very distinctive and coastal.

Habitat: Cliffs and Coastal Paths.

Self Heal Self Heal

Characteristics: Very unusual flower pattern with small purple flowers emerging from the tightly clustered buds on a single stem.

Habitat: Meadows and Pasture.

Sheeps Bit Sheeps Bit

Characteristics: An early blue flower that goes right on through the year. Found on coastal paths and pasture edges.

Habitat: Dry Grassland and Coastline.

Silverweed Silverweed

Characteristics: A hairy creeper found at the edges of footpath on the coastline and other dry places.

Habitat: Dry Grassland and Coastline.

Southern Marsh Orchid Southern Marsh Orchid

Characteristics: Found in damp meadows and fens. It has glossy leaves that are not marked and wonderful tall flower heads.

Habitat: Wet Meadows and Grassland.

Spear Thistle Spear Thistle

Characteristics: A very prickly thistle indeed, it has deep green leaves which have pale undersides.

Habitat: Dry Grassland and Margins.

Spring Squill Spring Squill

Characteristics: Very compact perennial found in dry grassland on cliffs.

Habitat: Costal Grassland.

Sweet Woodruff Sweet Woodruff

Characteristics: Very defined leaf shape with seven leaves around the stem at intervals. White flowers have just four petals and has a aroma that is used as a flavouring.

Habitat: Shady Woodland and Hedgerows.

Thrift Thrift

Characteristics: Dense clump forming with bright pink flower buds which open to light pink.

Habitat: Costal paths and Sandy Places.

Tufted Vetch Tufted Vetch

Characteristics: Clambering up to 1.5m in hedgerow margins this is a very vibrant vetch as the tufted flowers form in upright clumps.

Habitat: Hedgerows and Verges.

Tutsan Tutsan

Characteristics: Low growing shrub found in shady places, often in woodland. Bright yellow flowers studded with a pincushion of long stamens.

Habitat: Woodland and Shady Hedges or Walls.

Water Mint Water Mint

Characteristics: A wonderful blue flower makes this mint very distinctive as it grows at the margins of running water and springs.

Habitat: Edges of Streams and Springs.

Wild Strawberry Wild Strawberry

Characteristics: This plant bears very small fruits which have a wonderful taste. It creeps with runners and the flowers are very easily spotted.

Habitat: Woodland, Scrub and Hedgerows.

Wild Thyme Wild Thyme

Characteristics: Very distinctive when in flower the tiny flowers and creeping stems. Widespread on cliffs and coastal scrub margins.

Habitat: Sea Cliffs, and other High Ground.

Wood Sage Wood Sage

Characteristics: This plant looks very similar to culinary sage and is seen widely along the footpaths on the coastline.

Habitat: Dry Grassy Areas and Coastal Scrub.

Wood Sorrell Wood Sorrell

Characteristics: Tiny white flowers on this clover like plant appear in woodland clearings and is said to be edible.

Habitat: Woodland and Hedgerows.

Wood Spurge Wood Spurge

Characteristics: There is about 7,000 species of Spurge. The flowers of this Spurge are at the end of un-branched stems are unusual in that they do not have any petals.

Habitat: Woodland Clearings.

Woodrush Woodrush

Characteristics: Found in damp woodland this grass forms large clumps. The faint reddish brown flowers are borne in clusters on stalks.

Habitat: Damp Woodland.

Yellow Archangel Yellow Archangel

Characteristics: In woodlands this plant really brightens the landscape. It has large flowers for a member of the mint family. The leaves are quite triangular with toothed edges.

Habitat: Shady Woodland and Hedges.

Yellow Flag Iris Yellow Flag Iris

Characteristics: A classic wetland plant with stunning colour when in sunlight.

Habitat: Stream Margins, Damp Meadow.

Yellow Rattle Yellow Rattle

Characteristics: This plant is parasitic in that it derives nutrients and water from the roots of grasses. The yellow flowers have two lips and the distinctive leaves are long and toothed.

Habitat: Open Grassland, Verges and Meadows.

Come and discover these and more wildflowers on our guided walking holidays.

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