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Wild flowers

knapweed Common Knapweed

A downy perennial, with erect, tough, usually branched stems 30 - 180 centimetre 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.

Harebell Harebell Campanula rotundifolia

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.

Rosebay Willow-herb Rosebay Willow

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 .

Heather Heather Calluna 

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.

Bluebell Bluebell Hyacinthoides 

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.

Wood anemone Woodanemone Anemone nemorosa

Elegant, erect perennial 8 - 25 centimetre tall, with solitary flowers; rhizome creeping, forming loose clumps. The flowers are 2 - 4 centermeter 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 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.

Snowdrops Snowdrops Galanthus nivalis

An erect, hairless, bulbous perennial 10 - 25 centimetre 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.

Honeysuckle HoneysuckleLonicera periclymenum

A woody climber, with tough stems 2 - 6 metres 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.

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 07 Mar 2017 at 15:42