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English Wild Flowers: A Month by Month Guide

Red Valerian by a footpath in Somerset


Walking, whether in the countryside or neighbourhood, is a main leisure activity.

Like me, you may be frustrated at seeing wild flowers that you think you should be

able to name.

This web site is my attempt to remedy this situation. I hope that it increases your

enjoyment of not just the countryside but also of paths, wasteland, walls and

hedgerows in urban areas.


It is organised on a monthly basis. This gives you an idea of what to look out

for at different times of the year.

Months  are accessed, either by clicking on a name from the list below, or by

putting the cursor on the month at the top of the page.

Plants are listed in alphabetical order in the month in which they first appear.

This is not necessarily the peak in their flowering season.

January is an exception because it includes plants which flower all year round.

It is a work in progress - there are many plants still to be added, particularly

for the summer months.  Recent additions and alterations are in the last section of the


I have also included some non-flowering plants,e.g. ferns (Azolla, Royal Fern), 

a cyanobacterium (Nostoc) and Dog vomit slime mold, because you are likely to come across them. 

The pages are set up on my computer screen at a zoom of 125% This seems to 

keep the sentences unbroken.

What are classed as wild flowers?

The different types of wild flower: native, naturalised, alien, etc. are shown 

on this link - Which plants are classed as wild flowers?. 

In deciding whether a flower is wild or not, I follow the guidelines of the

Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI) and the National Biodiverity


Flowering season

The scientific study of the timing of the biological events in plants such as

flowering, is known as phenology.

The time when a plant flowers is controlled by its genetics, day length and


Of these factors, climate is the main factor that varies from year to year

and is therefore mainly responsible for differences in the timing of flowering.

In mild winters, for example, spring flowers appear earlier and  the previous

summer's flowers last longer, especially close to habitation. The effects

are less marked in the open countryside

Long-term, persistent changes in the timing of flowering can be used as a

measure of climate change. You can keep your own records for this purpose.    


Several photographs are shown for each flower. They are chosen to illustrate

diagnostic characteristics mentioned in field guides and floras.    

My current camera is an Olympus Stylus SH-1.

Pictures have been cropped, but not otherwise manipulated, using Adobe



The sources I use for identification: field guides, websites, county floras and 

books are listed on the sources page.

Web Statistics

The number of people accessing this site are shown on the Web Statistics

page. Last year - 2022, the site was accessed 2,035,299 times.

About me

I retired in 2006 after 40 years as a microbiologist at Lancaster University and

returned to my first scientific interest, plants, showing that it is never too late

to use your first degree (botany).

I took all the pictures (except for those in which I appear) and did all the

identifications and  descriptions of the plants.


Violetta, my wife, encouraged the setting up of the site and quickly realised

the potential of digital cameras. She was also insistant that I needed a hobby.

Sadly, Violetta died in 2012.

This website is my celebration of her life.

Other family

I have two daughters, Pia and Tamsin, both published writers. Pia is an

arts psychotherapist who has written a series of beautifully illustrated

‘therapeutic fairytales’, rooted in nature to support children. 

Tamsin is a children’s fiction author with two series of adventure novels,

Cat Burglar and Stunt Double - Tamsin Cooke.

Tamsin designs and runs creative writing workshops in schools across

the country and internationally via zoom. 

Recently, Pia and Tamsin have collaborated on a new venture to help

children connect to nature and their creativity across the seasons, with

Rewilding Children’s Imaginations, 99 Creative Activities Inspired by

Nature and Folktales from Around the World.


I welcome feedback, corrections and suggestions.  

Email me on  -  


October to December

Next page: Sources