Flowering between May and September, Scarlet Pimpernel is a common arable weed and is most famous for being the emblem of the fictional hero of the same name. It is sometimes also known as 'Old Man's Weathervane' or 'Shepherd's Weather-glass' as the flowers close when atmospheric pressure falls and bad weather approaches.
There is a vast variety of flowering plants in the UK with an average of 0.34 species becoming extinct in Kent each year, according to a recent survey by Plantlife.
Many flowers have adapted their colour, smell and shape to attract a particular pollinating insect, for example, we have bee orchids growing on the reserve (best seen in June), and the flowers resemble that of a female bee to attract a mate.
In the UK many plants and flowers have been part of traditional customs…….making daisy chains, playing conkers, sticking goosgrass stems to each others backs and the timeless wedding bouquet.
Creeping Thistle is our most common species of thistle and can be found on disturbed and cultivated ground such as rough grassland, roadside verges and field edges. Its creeping roots enable it to quickly spread across an area, and can become a nuisance on agricultural land. But Its seeds are important food source for a variety of farmland birds.
Hop is a sun-loving climbing plant that is most famous for its role in beer-making. It rambles through woodland, field edges, hedgerows and waste ground, growing in sunny areas. Hop bears male and female flowers on different plants: the male flowers are small, but the female ones are like large, scaled apples and are unmistakeable.
Herb-Robert is a type of crane's-bill that is found in a variety of habitats including woodland, hedgerows, rocky or exposed areas, scree slopes and coastal areas. Look for it in areas of shade away from acidic soils. The small pink flowers of Herb-Robert mainly appear between May and September and its leaves emit an unpleasant mousy scent.