Common Knapweed Centaurea nigra
A downy perennial, with erect, tough, usually branched stems 30-180 cm tall.
The flowers are reddish or pinkish purple, flowering between June to September. It is widespread and common in dry and damp grasslands,
The hard, knobbly flower-heads give Common Knapweed its other English name, Hardheads . Common Knapweed is an example of a plant that, although common, we ought to have more of in the countryside.
A slender, hairless, creeping perennial, with erect or semi-erect, little-branched stems 10-50 cm tall. The flowers are violet-blue, 12-20 mm long, bell-shaped, with very narrow, pointed calyx-teeth, nodding in open, loose, branched clusters. They flower between June and September. The harebell is a universally popular wild flower and one of our finest.
An almost hairless perennial with creeping rhizomes, forming extensive patches, and tough, erect stems 80-250 cm tall. The flowers are purplish-pink, 20-30 mm across, with 4 petals, in long, loose, pyramidal spikes. This is a common and conspicuous plant of woodland clearings, scrub and heath land, and often appears on the sites of old fire patches, hence its other common name of fireweed .
Erect, evergreen, variably downy shrublet, woody below and much-branched above, 20-60 cm tall. The flowers are tiny, bell-shaped, pinkish-purple, sometimes lilac or white, in leafy spikes. Heather is common on heaths and can be found commonly on Poor's Field.
A tufted, bulbous perennial with a rosette of leaves and an erect flowering stem 10-40 cm long. Flowers are in a loose, 1-sided cluster, drooping at the tip, dark violet-blue, richly scented. Bluebells are found throughout the Ruislip Woods where there are well-drained soils.
Elegant, erect perennial 8-25 cm tall, with solitary flowers; rhizome creeping, forming loose clumps. The flowers are 2-4 cm across, white tinged with pink or purple beneath, rarely lilac or blue, with many pale yellow stamens. A plant of well-drained soils in open woodland, coppices and hedgerows.
Yellow archangel Lamiastrum galeobdolon
A perennial with leafy runners, forming patches, and erect square stems 20-60 cm tall. Yellow Archangel, also known as Yellow Deadnettle, is one of the handsomest flowers of spring woodlands.
An erect, hairless, bulbous perennial 10-25 cm tall, forming clumps and patches. Widespread and locally abundant on damp but well-drained, usually humus-rich soils in open woods, scrub, hedges and streamsides. Snowdrops brighten the countryside even when it is still in the grip of winter.
A woody climber, with tough stems 2-6 m long, scrambling and (clockwise) twining over other plants. One of our most familiar and well-loved flowers, Honeysuckle is a conspicuous feature of hedgerows and woodland edges when in bloom.
Other flowers found in Ruislip Woods, including Poor's Field, include:
- Heath bedstraw – Galium saxatile
- Petty Whin Genista anglica
- Dwarf gorse Ulex minor
- Yellow pimpernel - Lysimachia nemorum
- Betony - Stachys officinalis
- Broad-leaved helleborine - Epipactis helleborine
- Violet helleborine - E. purpurata
- Common cow-wheat - Melampyrum pratense .
- Tormentil - Potentilla erecta
- Mat-grass - Nardus stricta
- Heath spotted orchid - Dactylorhiza maculate
- Lousewort - Pedicularis sylvatica
The Encyclopedia of Wild Flowers, by John Akeroyd, Parragon, 1999.