Sisyrinchium striatum ‘Aunt May’ (Pale yellow-eyed grass ‘Aunt May’)

Botanical name

Sisyrinchium striatum ‘Aunt May’

Other names

Pale yellow-eyed grass ‘Aunt May’, Sisyrinchium striatum ‘Variegatum’


Sisyrinchium Sisyrinchium

Variety or Cultivar

‘Aunt May’ _ ‘Aunt May’ is an clump-forming, evergreen perennial bearing erect, sword-shaped, grey-green leaves with creamy-white margins and leafy stems bearing clusters of star- or bell-shaped, pale yellow flowers in summer.

Native to

Argentina, Chile





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Pale-yellow in Summer

Striped, Green, Cream in All seasons

How to care

Watch out for


May be subject to a root rot.

Specific diseases

Root rot

General care


Remove any discoloured foliage and faded flowers.

Propagation methods


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Where to grow

Suggested uses

Architectural, Beds and borders, City, Gravel


Plant in poor to moderately fertile, well-drained, neutral to slightly alkaline soil in full sun. Dislikes winter wet. To ensure continued flowering, lift and divide every year or so.

Soil type

Chalky, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage


Soil pH

Alkaline, Neutral


Full Sun




Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7

Defra’s Risk register #1

Plant name

Sisyrinchium striatum ‘Aunt May’ (Pale yellow-eyed grass ‘Aunt May’)

Common pest name

common blossom thrips; cotton bud thrips; tomato thrips

Scientific pest name

Frankliniella schultzei



Current status in UK


Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low – 5 is very high)

Impact (1 is very low – 5 is very high)

General biosecurity comments

Polyphagous glasshouse pest; present in many countries; single finding in UK.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read “Don’t risk it” advice here

Suspected outbreak?

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit:

Related News

You rarely see this Argentinian (and Chilean) garden favourite for sale in garden centres. You are more likely to find it in yogurt pots at plant sales and jumble sales and this should serve as a mild warning – people don’t dig up valuable plants to give away, only those that they have too much of!

This is a plant that has a bit of an identity crisis and as well as the (I hope) accepted name of Sisyrinchium striatum I was aware that it was also known as Phaiophleps nigricans, a name I almost preferred because I always get the ‘y’s and ‘i’s mixed up in sisyrinchium! But that is not all. It has had a host of different names including Paneguia striata, Bermudiana striata, Ferraria ochroleuca, Marica striata and Moraea sertula – the last three all genera in Iridaceae that I would hardly have thought were similar enough to consider.

What is curious is that, despite the plant being in cultivation for, probably, centuries, and it is naturalised in the south of England at least, it does not have a common name. Officially the common name is satin flower or pale yellow-eyed-grass but I have never heard those used. There is a variegated form that is a bit more interesting in leaf, called ‘Aunt May’.

Sisyrinchiums are a confusing lot and most of the 150 or so species are found in South America and about a third in North America with a few others in other places! Most are small, grassy plants with starry flowers and some are grown on rock gardens.

The plant itself is a tough perennial that has fans of grey green leaves about 40cm high and 2cm wide. It grows best in light soils in full sun and is not as rampant in heavy clay. In late spring the fans produce a central stems, about 80cm high, with many bracts that contain clusters of rounded buds that open, over many weeks, into pale yellow, six-petalled flowers that have five to seven distinct black lines on the reverse of the outer tepals. The flowers only last a day but there are always lots of open flowers from June to August.

Although all this may seem very desirable, there are a couple of problems. When the leaves die they go black and look very unslightly, especially in winter, but worse is the way it seeds. It is essential that you cut off the spent flower spikes as soon as the last flowers fade to prevent seeds being cast all over the garden. The worst thing you can possibly do is plant it among iris, as I once did! The seedlings will pop up among the iris and it is almost impossible to weed them out, so similar do they look. It was a nightmare!

Geoff’s rating


– you can have too much of a good thing

Garden rating

7/10 – if you have nothing better

Sisyrinchium striatum, a hardy perennial with evergreen foliage. Perhaps you know it well, but its new to me.

Before the flowers started to develop, I was convinced this plant was a form of Iris.

*** In our garden ***

Soon after we arrived in Cheshire, in the front and back garden I spotted quite a few of these plants with the evergreen leaves.

As I say, I was convinced we were in for a treat, giving us a show of Iris blooms in the Summer ahead.

Come late May, it was evident that once again, I was wrong.

The leaves may well remind you of Iris but as you can see, the pale creamy yellow flowers couldn’t be more different

In a sunny position in our South facing front garden the blooms lasted from late May, persisting in to the second week of August.

The one plant which actually performed best of all, was the one which I potted up, and was in a position that didn’t get quite so much sunshine at the bottom of the back garden.

*** Plant description ***

Sisyrinchium striatum, with its sword shaped evergreen (grey/green) leaves, and clusters of small creamy yellow flowers, is quite an eye catcher, in perhaps an understated manner.

I mean, they don’t shout out at you, but as the weeks go in its easy to become, sort of attached to this little beauty.

Flowers for a long period, late May until early August, at times when the weather turns miserable for a day or two, its easy to think its all over when you see the blooms turning brown. The sun comes out again,weather turns warmer, and the plant gets a new lease of life.

Sisyrinchium striatum from South America, grows to a height of about 60cm/2ft, perhaps a little taller.

*** Hardiness *** Fully hardy

*** Position *** Full sun/partial shade

*** Soil *** Free draining, not too heavy

*** Flowering *** Late May to early August

*** Propagate *** Divide in Spring every two/three years

*** Common name *** Aunt May

*** Sisyrinchium ***


The village in Cheshire where we now live, at one time was very small with a population of a couple of hundred residents.

In the 1980s, housebuilding got under-way, and by 2014 the population reached over five thousand.

The old part of the village still has that old world feel, whilst the new developments have the typical character of the period in which they were built.

The village, to a certain extent has everything that you would expect regarding health care,schooling, pubs and shops,

A large area of land was taken over by one of the supermarket chains last year, I felt sorry for the local co-operative store which had served the community for decades.

However it seems these multi’s have been experiencing lower profits, and apparently our new store is on hold.

Well anyway, I had been saying to my eleven year old grandson that the biggest disappointment with living here was, that there was no park for the residents to stroll around or the children to play in.

He soon put me right, informing me that an area of land was currently being developed into a park. Further investigation proved that this was certainly in progress and seating areas and paths had been completed. Emphasis was on wildlife and flower meadows and not exactly a cultivated park, which was fine.

During the school Summer holidays, my grandson informed me that he knew where this park was, and we could have a walk there, not far he said, probably less than a couple of miles away.

I was fine with this, just getting into my new found pastime of walking, so off we went on what happened to be the hottest day of the year.

We called in at the old village first for some refreshments, which happened to be on the way.

Eventually we reached this country path, which was in a very picturesque situation. We walked past fields and woodland areas, crossed a small bridge over a river, children were playing, jumping off the bridge to the river below.

We carried on walking and I thought it was time I asked if we were near the park, ** I think this is the park he said.

Well it seems like we just ended up having a nice walk in the countryside.

Apparently, this year at some time we are going to find the real thing.

If you happen to leave a comment I will be sure to visit your site and do the same

It’s hard not to think about yellow flowers during bright and beautiful days in the summer. They remind you of the sun and all the sweet memories you should be making during such a fine season. Plus, it’s also super easy to fall in love with yellow flowers because of all the positive and pleasant flower meanings they’re blessed with.

On the other hand, if you love giving fresh flower arrangements as a gift, you should take note of specific cultures where a particular flower color may mean something offending. You wouldn’t want that, do you?

Learn all about the sunniest yellow flowers and their interesting flower meanings.

Yellow Flower Meanings in History

The beautiful language of flowers has been used throughout history as part of different rich cultures and traditions. The ancient Mayan civilization, for instance, regarded yellow flowers in general as a symbol of abundance.

In Eastern parts of the globe, such as Japan, the color yellow is deemed sacred and worthy of royal. This belief, of course, includes yellow flowers as well.

Rumor has it that the French see yellow as a color of jealousy. While this could come in handy if you want to subtly send your beau this type of message, you may want to think twice first about handing over a bouquet of yellow flowers to someone from France.

More importantly, in Mexico, yellow flowers, especially marigolds, are only used to honor the dead.

Types of Yellow Flowers

Nowadays, yellow flowers are seen as bearers of good news, well wishes, and happiness. Here’s a list of some of our favorite yellow flowers of all time.


The iconic bloom reminiscent of the brightest star, sunflowers represent good luck, long life, and a lasting happiness in old Chinese culture. This flower is also a great way to express admiration, loyalty, and a non-romantic kind of love towards a friend or a family member.


Begonia can mean a lot of different things. While some flower meanings aren’t encouraging, gold and yellow begonias are associated with richness, joy, and feelings of contentment.


Based on, ranunculus are flowers with very few and direct meanings, no matter the color. A bouquet or a floral arrangement filled with ranunculus flowers could mean “You are charming,” “I am charmed by you,” or “You are attractive.”


The Bardot

Romeo and Juliet

Mystique Peonies

Water Lily

By and large, all water lily flowers represent rebirth, fertility, and optimism.


Pansy as a flower symbolize free thinking, loving thoughts, and is also the birth flower of people born in January. But yellow pansy flowers, in particular, is about one’s optimism and joy.

Black-Eyed Susan

Black-Eyed Susan stands for hope, fairness, and equality. It’s also the best flower to be given to someone who needs encouragement during a trying time.


In the Victorian times, dahlia flowers were used to represent a commitment shared forever by two persons, such as marriage. They also symbolize beauty, elegance, and strength.


The King of Sweden reportedly sent his wife, Queen Silvia Sommerlath, a dozen yellow roses every day for four years – which adds up to 1, 461 dozen or a total of 17,532 individual flowers.

Yellow Carnation

Despite being a Mother’s Day favorite, yellow flowers are said to represent rejection or disappointment.

Yellow Chrysanthemum

Fun fact: did you know that chrysanthemums or mums are actually edible flowers. While almost every other color stands for positive flower meanings, yellow chrysanthemums specifically mean an unrequited or a love filled with sorrows.

Yellow Hyacinth

Hyacinths are flowers that come with a unique scent and flower meanings specific to their colors. Yellow hyacinths represent jealousy.

Lotus Flower

A delicate flower, lotus means eloquence during the Victorian era and spiritual enlightenment.

Yellow Zinnia

Vibrant as they are, zinnia flowers can mean affection and constancy. A yellow zinnia, in particular, means remembrance.


Marigolds generally mean happiness, except in Mexico where it means death.


Yarrow means good health, love, and healing.

Yellow Orchids

A cheery color, yellow orchids stand for friendship and well wishes. Basically, orchids, no matter the color, only have good flower meanings. This is why you’ll never go wrong about getting an elegant orchid arrangement as a present, whatever the occasion. Check out our exquisite orchid collection.


Another type of yellow flower are hellebores, which means peace and a promise of a beautiful year ahead.

Calla Lily

An elegant and exquisite flower, yellow calla lily represents joy, continuous growth, and change.


A ravishing rival of roses when it comes to expressing romance, yellow tulips, however, means unrequited love.


In the country, the daffodil is the symbol of the American Cancer Association in connection with its beautiful flower meaning of hope and healing.


A tropical beauty, yellow hibiscus flowers represent summer, positivity, and happiness.

Gerbera Daisy

Yellow Gerbera daisy is all about cheerfulness.


Primrose symbolizes patience, kindness, and epitomizes youthful beauty.


A type of yellow flower, iris stands for wisdom, hope, and purity, which is another reason why it’s also popularly used in bridal bouquets.


A gorgeous peony represents many beautiful things, including romance, good luck, compassion, prosperity, and a blissful marriage.


A flowering herb plant, the name tansy was derived from the Greek words athanatos, which means immortality, according to the Spruce. It’s a medicinal herb that was used in many therapeutic ways during olden times and as an embalming agent, too. Another interesting meaning of a yellow tansy flower is “I declare war on you,” says Good Housekeeping.


Yellow goldenrod flowers are said to bring the recipient good thoughts, inspiration, creativity, and encouragement. However, goldenrod has a lot of pollen content and isn’t included in the list of allergy-friendly flowers.

The color of the sun, yellow is the shade that literally can brighten someone’s day! A representation of friendship and joy, this stimulating color enhances any floral bouquet it’s added to. Whether they’re bright or subtle, yellow flowers are sure to turn heads and encourage cheer no matter what shape or size they are. Create a bouquet filled with sunny shades or use just a few for a gift sure to put a smile on a loved one’s face!


Whether you choose a subtle shade or a golden hue, capture the warm feeling of the season with a yellow flower. Try adding flowers in a deeper shade, such as a zinnia or a marigold for an elegant effect.

Marigold (Tagetes) – A representation of joy, the marigold is a flower that encourages positive feelings in the recipient. Include this flower in events celebrating a new start, such as a baby shower or engagement party.

Roses (Rosa) – Known as symbols of good cheer, yellow roses are the perfect gift to lift the spirits of a good friend. Use these bright florals to fill your loved one’s day with a bit of sunshine.

Zinnia (Zinnia Elegans) – Add a touch of individuality to your fall bouquet with this colorful bloom. Create centerpieces using this flower for an event celebrating lasting affection, like an anniversary party.

Pansy (Viola wittrockiana) – While this flower comes in a variety of colors, the February birth flower is a symbol of loving feelings and free thinking when you give it in yellow. Give this flower to someone going through a rough patch to brighten their day and make them feel better.

Begonia (Begonia) – The rich texture and buttery color of the Begonia’s petals make it a flower that’s hard to forget. Most begonias, including the yellow version, bloom in pairs on top of dark green leaves.

Primrose (Oenothera)- This goblet-shaped flower is very fragrant, making it a perfect choice for entryway arrangements to welcome guests with a rich scent. Include these in your decor or in your meal, as the young leaves are edible and are delicious in salads!

Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum) – With over 40 wild species of this tropical flower, chrysanthemums are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Use this big, golden flower as a gift for someone who needs a little help putting a smile on their face!


Brighten up your day during this chilly weather with a bouquet of yellow flowers! Use different shades of this cheery hue to put a smile on someone’s face.

Carolina jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) – The state flower of South Carolina, these bright, fragrant tubular blossoms grow to be about 1 to 4 inches wide. Their sweet and spicy scent make them a great flower for centerpieces in a small area.

Hellebores (Helleborus) – Hellebores have a long blooming period and come in a range of colors. This pale yellow flower with dark purple accents is perfect for adding a touch of drama to any bouquet!

Carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus) – Carnations grow full of serrated petals on a long, narrow stalk and come in a variety of colors. The pale yellow version is perfect for arrangements with blue or purple flowers to make them pop!

Ranunculus (Ranunculus) – Known to represent charm and attractiveness, the yellow ranunculus is great for celebrating big achievements. Also called buttercups, these bright flowers are a favorite for couples taking a walk down the aisle!


Enjoy the warm sunshine with an arrangement filled with sunny colors! Incorporate a daffodil or two to celebrate the spring season.

Daffodil (Narcissus) – This trumpet-shaped flower comes in contrasting colors and is a staple in any spring bouquet. Since these flowers symbolize friendship, you can incorporate them into a gift for a good friend!

Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) – These huge, trumpet-shaped blooms are not only beautiful, but edible! Incorporate these tangy, citrus-flavored flowers as a final touch to a drink or a salad.

Dutch Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis) – This ball-shaped cluster is seen as a gentle and romantic spring flower. The bright color and unique shape of the Dutch hyacinth are sure to turn heads!

Daisy (Asteraceae) – A symbol of innocence and purity, the daisy is a great flower to use in an arrangement for a baby or bridal shower. Include this dainty flower as a filler in an arrangement for a detailed pop of color!

Iris (Iris) – These delicate-looking blooms can be found in a variety of shades and sizes. Use yellow irises in a bouquet for someone you’re passionate about.

Tulip (Tulipa) – These brightly-colored flowers have a simple cup shape that attracts a variety of winged friends. Use tulips in an outdoor event to attract butterflies!

Yellow Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii) – The yellow butterfly bush is one of the most fragrant bushes and attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, hence the name. Use this flower as a centerpiece for a rustic, romantic outdoor wedding.

Dahlia (Dahlia) – Recognized for the spiky petals that form their large heads, dahlias make a great statement centerpiece as they grow up to 6 feet tall. Incorporate these into bouquets or as a boutonniere for a fun twist on a traditional event.


As a representation of joy and friendship, yellow flowers are a great way to spread cheer at any celebration. Combine yellow florals with purple and blue flowers for a seasonal centerpiece at your next event.

Calla Lily (Zantedeschia) – These flowers are very popular for their trademark bell shape that is present in both gardens and vases. Use these flowers in arrangements for a sweet, feminine touch at a brunch gathering.

Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) – Known to be one of the most popular flowers in the world, these blooms symbolize innocence and cheerfulness. Give the gerbera daisy as a gift by itself or mixed into an arrangement for someone special.

Yarrow (Achillea) – Thought to protect against negative outside influences, yarrow is the perfect gift for friends who are down on their luck. This yellow flower will brighten their day, as well as their spirits!

Sunflower (Helianthus) – With their big daisy-like flower faces, sunflowers are extremely popular throughout every season. A symbol of friendship, sunflowers make the perfect surprise gift for your bestie.

Water lily (Nymphaea hollandia) – These floating beauties bloom in a variety of colors, and yellow is one of the prettiest. Use water lilies as a floating centerpiece for a mystical and whimsical piece of decor.

Tickseed (Coreopsis) – Coreopsis look very similar to daisies, with their petals varying in shades of yellow and pink. Give this flower to a friend who needs to be cheered up, as the botanical name for the tickseed, coreopsis, means “always cheerful.”

Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia) – These sturdy, daisy-like plants add a bold touch of bright yellow to any bouquet. Black-eyed Susans also mix well with annuals and shrubs.

Craspedia (Craspedia globosa) – These round flowers can grow to the size of a tennis ball, making them a unique addition to any traditional arrangement. Give craspedia as a get-well-soon gift as the flower represents good health!

Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) – This popular plant works well with plants of differing heights as their size provide balance to any arrangement. A symbol of strength, offer this flower as a gift to a loved one in need of some good energy.

Goldenrod (Solidago) – Goldenrods are a deep yellow color that are in full bloom in late summer. Their tall spikes of bright yellow flowers help them stand out.

Perennial Geranium (Geranium) – Usually found in shades of blue, these flowers are at their best between summer and winter. Pair this flower with hyacinths and daffodils for the ultimate bouquet!

Associated with joy, yellow is the best color to create a lively atmosphere and promote positive feelings! Add yellow flowers in sunshine-inspired shades to brighten up any room. Whether you prefer big and bold or small and subtle, there are many yellow flower choices for creating the perfect arrangement.

Sources: Flower Meaning | Gardenerdy | Flowers By Renee

There are around 1,600 species of wildflower in Britain and Ireland. But don’t worry, we aren’t going to list them all here!

This page focuses on the wildflowers that Grow Wild distributes through our seed kits, or has distributed in the past. If you received a kit in 2019, find out which seeds you’ve been sent.

These are a colourful and easy to grow mix of UK native-origin wildflowers. They’re researched and sourced by experts at the UK Native Seed Hub, which is part of Kew Science, in partnership with UK based seed suppliers.

How long after sowing can I expect to see flowers?

Our ‘Annual’ flowers put on a show in their first summer and quickly produce seed, dying in the process. These seeds then grow into new plants the following year. And so it goes on.

While the ‘Perennial’ flowers in the mix will wait to burst into flower in their second summer – and carry on for many years beyond, too.

The ‘Biennial’ flowers grow in their first year but don’t flower and produce seeds until their second year, although some occasionally defy convention by acting like annuals. After producing seeds, these plants usually die in the same way as an annual.

Make sure you follow this advice

Usage notice

Grow Wild seeds are not to be used in or near natural areas. Find out why.

Safety notice

Sensible garden precautions should be followed when growing wildflowers, so refrain from eating any plant not known to be edible, wash hands after working in the garden and before eating or touching lips and eyes, and see that pets and children who cannot be entirely trusted not to consume vegetation are supervised.

Grow Wild wildflowers


Agrimonia eupatoria

Agrimony is commonly found along roadsides, woodland edges, field edges and other well-drained grassy places. It has a long history of medicinal use, deriving its name from Argemone, a term used in ancient Greece to describe plants believed to beneficial to the eyes. The burred seed are exceptionally well-adapted to grip onto the fur of passing animals, like natural Velcro.

Autumn hawkbit

Scorzoneroides autumnalis (perennial)

Dandelion-like golden-yellow flowers appear from rosettes of leaves from June to October. The seeds are long and brown, attached to a parachute consisting of a single row of hairs.


Betonica officinalis (perennial)

The small clustered purple flowers and scalloped leaves of Betony are ideal for growing in damp, sunny or lightly shaded sites. It can sometimes be found growing in churchyards, where it was once believed to ward off evil spirits.

Bird’s foot trefoil

Lotus corniculatus (perennial)

A common meadow wild flower, the name refers to its elongated seedpods, each with a hook at the tip that looks like a bird’s foot. Its nectar provides a valuable food source for insects and is often grown by beekeepers.

Bladder campion

Silene vulgaris (perennial)

Bladder campion is named for the inflated ‘bladder’ at the base of each flower. The white flowers are clove-scented at night, attracting long-tongued moths able to reach deep into the flower tube.

Burnet saxifrage

Pimpinella saxifraga

A small, delicate plant found in well-drained, grassy places. Common names can be confusing – the divided leaves and wiry stems look like salad burnet, but this plant is a member of the carrot family and, strictly speaking, is neither a burnet nor a saxifrage.

Common or lesser knapweed

Centaurea nigra (perennial)

Thistle-like, vibrant-purple blooms, which reappear every year, once established. They provide a real burst of colour and attract bees and butterflies. Their seed heads provide food for birds.

Corn or common poppy

Papaver rhoeas (annual)

The classic poppy – vivid red with a near-black centre. It produces lots of seeds after flowering, which will germinate if the surrounding soil is disturbed. This means you may have poppies for years to come.

Corn chamomile

Anthemis arvensis (annual)

Also known as field chamomile, a mass of daisy-like white flowers with yellow centres appears on this plant from late May to September. The leaves, when crushed, give off a pleasant aroma.


Agrostemma githago (annual)

With attractive pinky purple flowers that are furled like a flag before they open, this hairy-stemmed wild flower is happy on most soils but grows best in a sunny, open spot.


Centaurea cyanus (annual)

Sow these seeds in sunny, well-drained soil and pretty bright-blue flower heads will appear on long stalks during midsummer. Look out for the common blue butterfly that feeds on its nectar.

Corn marigold

Glebionis segetum (annual)

These bright-yellow daisies pump out their sunny blooms for most of the summer. They look great in groups and produce a ready supply of nectar for pollinators.


Primula veris (perennial)

It’s not the most elegant of plant names – thought to derive from the old English for cow dung – but its delicate nodding yellow flowers are still a welcome sight in open grassland, and increasingly on roadsides, where it’s been reintroduced.

Crested dogs-tail

Cynosurus cristatus (perennial)

A characteristic grass of flower-rich meadows, crested dogs-tail is tough enough to crowd out weeds whilst still allowing your flowers to grow. Although quite short-lived, the unusual flat flower heads release huge quantities of seeds each year to keep the display going.

Devil’s bit scabious

Succisa pratensis (perennial)

According to folklore, the devil was furious at this plant’s powerful medicinal properties, and bit off the roots – hence the stubby rootstock. The violet-blue flowers look like a pincushion and provide a good source of nectar, particularly to the marsh fritillary butterfly.

Field scabious

Knautia arvensis (perennial)

Dainty lilac pompom-like flowers bloom on tall stems between July and September, which are attractive to pollinating bees. Their stems are hairy and similar in texture to scabby skin.


Digitalis purpurea (biennial)

If you try fitting one of these flowers over one of your fingertips, you’ll soon see why the scientific name of this cottage-garden favourite means ‘finger-like’. Its foliage can be deadly poisonous, but in controlled doses, can be used medicinally.

Garlic mustard

Alliaria petiolata (biennial)

Typical of hedges and woodlands, garlic mustard enjoys damp, shady conditions. It flowers early, from April onwards, and has garlic-scented leaves and flowers.

Giant bellflower

Campanula latifolia (perennial)

Tall spires of purple, bell-shaped flowers make an impressive display in damp woodlands, riversides, hedgerows and gardens.

Great mullein

Verbascum thapsus (biennial)

Great mullein is unmistakable, with enormous yellow flower spikes growing up to two metres tall and setting vast quantities of seed. The large furry leaves are a feature too, providing food for caterpillars including the yellow and black-spotted mullein moth.

Greater stitchwort

Stellaria holostea (perennial)

A pretty spring flower of country lanes and hedgerows, this species was once believed to cure stitches caused by too much exercise. Seed is dispersed with a noisy pop, giving it the alternative common name of ‘popgun’.

Hedge bedstraw

Galium album (perennial)

Similar to Lady’s bedstraw, but bigger and tougher. The tiny white flowers that bloom on long stems from June to September develop into smooth black fruits after being pollinated by flies.

Hedge woundwort

Stachys sylvatica (perennial)

A vigorous perennial, thriving in a range of conditions including damp, fertile and lightly shaded hedgerows and verges. The furry leaves have a pungent, astringent smell when crushed.

Imperforate St John’s wort

Hypericum maculatum (perennial)

A hairless square-stemmed plant with golden-yellow flowers, typically with five petals and black dots. It likes heavy, damp soils and is often seen in flower along roadsides and woodland edges between June and August.

Lady’s bedstraw

Galium verum (perennial)

A sprawling plant that will return every year. It produces golden-yellow flowers throughout summer, which provide food for hummingbird hawk-moths and elephant hawk-moths.

Meadow buttercup

Ranunculus acris (perennial)

Pretty yellow buttercups gently sway on top of delicate stems. They really enjoy moist soil, although will put on some kind of show in most conditions.


Filipendula ulmaria (perennial)

This moisture-loving plant puts on a display of fluffy-white flowers in high summer. It self-seeds if it’s in a plot it likes, meaning if you’re lucky it will increase year after year.

Musk Mallow

Malva moschata(perennial)

The pale pink flowers and finely cut leaves of musk mallow make a beautiful display in rough grasslands and roadsides. The flowers are attractive to pollinators too, helped at night by the musky fragrance that gives the plant its name.

Nettle-leaved bellflower

Campanula trachelium (perennial)

Large bell-shaped blue flowers make this a beautiful wildflower of hedgerows and woodland edges. The hairy leaves do resemble nettles, but they don’t sting!

Night-scented catchfly

Silene noctiflora (annual)

This sticky, hairy annual species was traditionally found amongst arable crops and in cultivated or disturbed ground. The flowers are tightly closed during the day, but open at night to release a strong scent and attract night-flying insects.

Oxeye daisy

Leucanthemum vulgare (perennial)

Just like the daisies you’d find in a lawn, although with bigger flowers and taller stems. Their white petals with yellow centres put on a show from June to August. They’re loved by pollinating insects.

Perforate St John’s wort

Hypericum perforatum (perennial)

This medicinal plant has round stems with two raised ridges and golden-yellow flowers with distinctive translucent dots from June to September.

Primula vulgaris (perennial)

One of our earliest flowering wildflowers and a delightful sight in hedgerows and woodlands in spring. The pale yellow flowers are sweetly-scented, well worth getting on your hands and knees to enjoy!

Purple loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria (perennial)

Pollinated by long-tongued bees and butterflies and often found in bog gardens or pond margins. Candle-like spikes of pink to purple flowers appear on tall stems in midsummer.

Quaking grass

Briza media (perennial)

This beautiful grass thrives in infertile and preferably dry soil. The purple-tinged flower heads hang on delicate wiry stems, ‘quaking’ gently in the breeze.

Ragged robin

Silene flos-cuculi (perennial)

A close relative of common red campion, this annual species is distinguished by a profusion of ragged pink flowers. They enjoy damp sites, and are often found near ponds and streams.

Red campion

Silene dioica (perennial)

The vivid pink flowers of this delicate plant really perk up the mix. It likes a bit of shade and moist soil, so you’re likely to see it thrive if your growing conditions offer this.

Red clover

Trifolium pratense (perennial)

Less vigorous than its white cousin, red clover is a familiar wildflower of meadows and pastures everywhere. It is a rich provider of nectar and pollen, of particular value to our many native bumblebees.

Red dead-nettle

Lamium purpurea (annual)

This common and easily-grown annual is one of the first flowers to open in spring, providing nectar for bumble bees and other early-flying insects. The seed have a special adaptation to allow them to be picked up and carried by ants.

Ribwort plantain

Plantago lanceolata (perennial)

Not the prettiest wild flower, but it’s great for wildlife. It can become a bit rampant, but it’s an important part of the UK’s grassland so worth nurturing.

Salad burnet

Poterium sanguisorba (perennial)

A tough groundcover plant on infertile, chalky soils, salad burnet also grows well in gardens and pots. The leaves are cucumber-scented when crushed, with tiny deep-pink flowers held in dense drumsticks above the foliage.

Scentless mayweed

Tripleurospermum inodorum (annual)

This annual is typical of cultivated and disturbed ground, with cheerful white and yellow daisies in mid to late summer. Unlike other similar species, they produce no scent when crushed.


Prunella vulgaris (perennial)

This purplish blue-flowered perennial was once an important therapeutic plant – its leaves were crushed and used to dress skin wounds and syrup made with the flowers and leaves was thought to cure sore throats.

Square-stalked St John’s wort

Hypericum tetrapterum (perennial)

Also known as St Peter’s wort, this moisture-loving plant has distinctive winged square stems and pale-yellow five-petalled flowers that bloom from June to September.

Sweet vernal-grass

Anthoxanthum odoratum (perennial)

One of the first grasses to flower in old meadows and pastures, sweet vernal grass contains high levels of vanilla-scented coumarin, giving freshly-cut hay its characteristic sweet smell.

Tanecetum vulgare (perennial)

Tansy is one native wildflowers that has long found a place in our gardens, with finely divided foliage, bright yellow flowers and a host of medicinal uses. The whole plant is powerfully aromatic when crushed, and although attractive to pollinators has traditionally been used as an insect repellent.

Tufted vetch

Vicia cracca (perennial)

Showy violet-purple pea-like flowers appear on long stems that scramble through vegetation, using branched tendrils growing from the tips of its leaves. It’s particularly popular with bumblebees.

Upright hedge-parsley

Torillis japonica (biennial)

Often mistaken for common cow parsley, upright hedge parsley flowers later in the summer and has more upright stems without dark blotches. The flowers are a magnet for pollinating insects, including hoverflies and small beetles.


Echium vulgare (biennial)

This eye-catching, bristly-stemmed plant stands out on chalky grasslands and clifftops thanks to its vivid bright blue flowers, which bloom from June to September. It’s also a great food source for butterflies, bumblebees and honey bees.

White campion

Silene latifolia (perennial)

This hairy and often sticky annual or short-lived perennial has white flowers, each with five deeply-notched petals. They can cross-pollinate with red campion to produce a beautiful pink hybrid.

White clover

Trifolium repens (perennial)

A familiar sight in lawns, meadows and road verges, white clover provides a banquet of nectar for pollinating insects. It provides rich grazing for farm animals too, so has been sown by farmers for hundreds of years.

White dead-nettle

Lamium album (perennial)

At first glance, this plant looks like a stinging nettle, but if it has large white flowers, the leaves won’t sting you. The nectar at the base of the tube-like flowers provides an important food source for bumblebees.

Wild basil

Clinopodium vulgare (perennial)

A surprisingly tough herb, able to compete with vigorous plants in open grasslands, scrub, woodland edges, hedgerows and other places, usually on dry, chalky soil. Unlike culinary basil, which originates in southern Asia, our native plant is hairy with tiers of beautiful pink flowers around the stem. The leaves are pleasantly scented – whether they smell of basil is a matter of opinion!

Wild carrot

Daucus carota (biennial)

The mostly off-white, flat, umbrella-like heads of flowers are pretty, but don’t expect a bumper crop from these. The roots smell of carrots but, unlike the cultivated ones, are thin, wiry and woody.

Wild marjoram

Origanum vulgare (perennial)

Loved by butterflies, this popular kitchen herb has oval leaves and dark purple buds which burst in to clusters of sweet-smelling pink and purple flowers. Sow it in a well-drained, sunny spot.

Wild thyme / common thyme

Thymus polytrichus (perennial)

Like the familiar culinary thyme, which hails from the Mediterranean, our native thyme is pungently scented and enjoys baking in hot, dry and sunny sites. The pink flower spikes are attractive too, and a magnet for pollinating insects.

Wood sage

Teucrium scorodonia (perennial)

Wood sage enjoys lightly-shaded sites where its soft downy leaves can spread across the ground without too much disturbance. The leaves are slightly scented when crushed, with small spikes of yellow-green flowers in late summer.


Achillea millefolium (perennial)

This hardy plant is found frequently in meadows, grasslands, along roadsides and among hedges. It has dark green, feathery leaves and clusters of delicate white flower heads which give off a strong perfume when in bloom – between June and August.

Yellow rattle

Rhinanthus minor (annual)

If you turn this unusual-looking yellow flower upside down, the upper lip looks like a nose, hence its name, ‘nose flower’ in Greek. The flower base later forms a capsule filled with loose, rattling seeds when ripe.

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