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“I think this site is very interesting and is a great thing to do I am sure Don  would be proud” - email from Natalie Bunyan

We have included Don’s notes exactly as he wrote them as reminders for when he was giving slideshows to various bodies. We know that he expanded on these, but we wish to remain true to the original documentation.

Butter Burr:

  1. Often referred to in the countryside as “wild rhubarb”.
  2. A similar plant often found in gardens is winter heliotrope.
  3. Common near rivers and damp places.
  4. Flowers March to May (beloved by beekeepers.).
  5. The flower of the male butterburr grows in clusters, the female flower being spread out along the stem.

Scarlet pimpernel

  1. A small slender plant with square stems.
  2. Black dots (glands) are scattered over the stems and underside of the leaves.
  3. A country name for the plant is “poor man’s weather glass” because the flowers close in bad weather.
  4. Flowers from May to September.

Marsh Orchid

  1. A tall orchid with a hollow stem.
  2. Colour of flowers vary from purple to pink or almost white.
  3. Common plant of damp meadows and marshy places.
  4. Flowers May to July.

Common Milkwort

  1. Flowers are blue.
  2. Common on grassland, especially chalky soil.
  3. Flowers May to September.
  4. It was given the name because it was supposed to increase the milk production of animals which fed on it.

Rest Harrow

  1. Hardy perennial with a woody, often creeping and rooting stem, which is sometimes spiny - “arresting the harrow” originally drawn by horses.
  2. Pink in colour flowers from June to September often found on chalky grassland.
  3. Cattle that eat rest harrow leaves give tainted milk.  This is particularly pronounced when made into cheese and in such cases the cheese is termed “cammocky”.

False Oxlip

  1. A hybrid between the cowslip and the primrose.
  2. Wherever both grow a few false oxlips may be found.
  3. It is more hairy than the cowslip, with larger, pale flowers and leaves which taper more gradually towards the base.
  4. Flowers April - May.

Common Mallow:

  1. A perennial from 1 foot to 3 feet tall.
  2. Pink flowers, the ammlow is common by roadsides and waste places.
  3. Flowers June-September.
  4. The leaves of the common mallow were once used in salads and for poultices.  Its roots were made into soothing ointments.
  5. NB: The plant marsh mallow was once used for confectionery, from its powdered dry roots, but today it is pure gelatine and sugar.

Rosebay Willow Herb:

  1. Sometimes referred to as “fireweed”.
  2. Common on bomb-sites after the Second World War.
  3. Flowers July-September.
  4. Very rare up to 1860.
  5. Named after long, narrow, willow-like leaves.
  6. 20,000 seeds are produced from each plant.
  7. 2½ acres overgrown with this plant provide nectar/pollen for ½ a ton of honey. The honey is light and green in colour with a delicate and very sweet taste.
  8. Young leaves used as a salad vegetable, mature dried ones contain tannin and have been used as a substitute for tea.

Sea Aster

  1. May grow up to 3 feet tall and is common in salt marshes.
  2. Flowers July-October.


  1. Bugle is common in deep woods and grassy places.
  2. Flowers May to July.
  3. Stem is hairy on 2 opposite sides.
  4. A 17th century “wound healing drink” and was also made into ointment for treating ulcers and bruises.

Red Campion:

  1. Flowers June-September.
  2. Scentless flowers.
  3. 5 petals being deeply cleft.

Hemp Agrimony:

  1. Tall perennial with reddish-mauve, or white flower heads.
  2. This plant is common in damp woods and marshes, and by rivers.

White Dead Nettle:

  1. Upright square stems.
  2. A course hairy perennial.
  3. Very hardy and long flowering season.
  4. No relation to the stinging nettle.

Wild Honeysuckle/Woodbine:

  1. The sweetly scented flowers appear from June/July.
  2. Long, trumpet-shaped flowers contain a rich store of honet secreted in the narrow tubes.
  3. Visited regularly by the hawk moth species.

Cuckoo Pint:

  1. The Cuckoo Pint is known as “Lords and Ladies”, “Jack in the Pulpit”, and “Wild Arum”.
  2. It has a green hood shielding a purple club or spike.
  3. Appears before the leaves April/June.
  4. Scarlet berries are poisonous.
  5. The thrush eats the berries.

Great Hairy Willow Herb

  1. Sometimes known as codling and cream.
  2. Grows up to 6 feet in height.
  3. Common on stream sides and in damp places..


  1. The lesser reedmace is often mistakenly called Bulrush.
  2. The bulrush has tall green leafless stems up to 8 feet high and crowned with clusters of inflorescences.
  3. The lesser reedmace or cats tail is the tall reed bearing the velvety heads shaped
  4. like a poker and ending in a point.
  5. The leaves can be used for making mats, baskets and chair seats.

Goose Grass

  1. The burr-like fruit catch on to clothes and the fur of animals - this distributes the seeds.
  2. Poultry - especially geese, like to eat goose grass.
  3. Formerly fed to newly hatched goslings.

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