England offers a wide array of plant species for gardeners and nature lovers. England boasts at least 50 native trees, 935 species of bryophytes (liverworts and mosses) and many wildflower species. Exploring England's flora further will help to build an appreciation of her natural wealth, something children and adults can benefit from.
Pedunculate Oak (Quercus robur)
One of the most important and common native trees England offers, the acorns produced by Q. robur are an important food source for jays, squirrels and other animals. This tree can grow over 40 meters in height.
Even with its tall stature, Q. robur normally has a squat and sturdy appearance. The leader is often times broken/eaten while the tree is young so that it develops with an open or irregular canopy.
Field Rose (Rosa arvensis)
The bright red fruits of R. arvensis are an important food source for birds and mammals. Its habit to form mounds creates natural cover for these animals as well. In cultivation, this wild rose is grown as hedging, trellised or left to sprawl in informal gardens. Tolerant of many soils and growing conditions, it is considered a beginner's plant. R. arvensis can grow to 3 meters and produces white blossoms.
Clustered Bellflower (Campanula glomerata)
C. glomerata produces bell-shaped upwards facing, violet-blue blossoms in clusters. It can grow to 1 meter in height. The leaves and blossoms of this plant are used as a garnish, eaten raw in salads or right out of the hand. The taste, claimed to be slightly sweet and pleasant. C. glomerata blooms from June to July.
St John's Wort (Hypericum olympicum)
H. olympicum is a spreading, dwarf shrub growing to 1/4 meter high with a 1/2 meter spread. Its blossoms are bright yellow with the main petals turning back towards the plant, the centers contain numerous, fuzzy stamens of the same color. Its leaves are small and ovate and held in whorls along the stems.
Lady's Smock (Cardamine pratensis)
Lady's smock grows to 60 cm tall, producing its blossoms on 30 cm-long spikes. Its blossoms are pale pink (and occasionally white). C. pratenis is a host plant to the orange tip butterfly (Anthocharis cardamines). Escapees of this popular garden plant have naturalized throughout North America.
Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)
Often found growing in moist areas beside streams and in meadows, F. ulmaria is most noticeable when in bloom. It produces large, airy, white flower heads and a strong sweet aroma. The leaves are dark green, lobed and downy. F. ulmaria grows to two meters in favorable conditions. This plant is attractive to butterflies and bees.