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Plants Native to England

Updated November 21, 2016

England occupies the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain, sharing borders with Scotland and Wales. Greatly influenced by the cold sea that surrounds it, England has a temperate maritime climate with abundant rainfall and cool temperatures. The topography of England includes everything from cold, wind-swept uplands to rolling hills, providing numerous ecosystems for the abundance of native plants that live there.

Snake's Head Fritillary

Snake's head fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris) is a native meadow flower of England, found predominantly in the southern and eastern counties of the country. It grows mostly in moist or boggy meadows, reaching a mere 11 inches at its tallest with eye-catching maroon and white checkered flowers that emerge in late March to early April. Snake's head fritillary prefers acidic and well-drained yet evenly-moist soil with full sun to partial shade. It is becoming increasingly rare to find it in the wild, but is common in botanical gardens.

Foxglove

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) is one of the most well-known and widely grown garden flowers, but is also a common native plant in England. It prefers dappled sun to full shade and grows easily in practically any soil provided it is well-draining. Foxglove is typically a biennial but can be perennial if properly trimmed back to prevent seeding. The flower stalks can grow to be 5 feet in ideal conditions, with bell-shaped, pendulous flowers that are generally pink or white with light freckling on the inside. It blooms in early summer in England, sometimes with a second bloom in autumn.

Lady's Slipper

Once a widespread wild flower throughout the Yorkshire Dales of England, lady slipper (Cypripedium Calceolus) has all but disappeared from wild growth due to habitat destruction. The striking and unusual blooms of lady's slipper are generally yellow in colour with rusty red tendrils, growing atop stems that can reach 10 inches in height. It prefers boggy and calcareous soils and is generally not tolerant of standard garden soil unless heavily amended with lime. It requires shady conditions and high humidity and cannot tolerate heat. Lady's slipper blooms in late spring and early summer.

Corn Cockle

Corn cockle (Agrostemma githago) is an English native plant that is now found throughout much of the world. Once a common and invasive weed found in wheat fields, corn cockle has all but been eradicated in its native environment but thrives throughout North America and mainland Europe after being introduced in wheat imports. It is a tall plant with slender stems, generally 3 feet in height with pinkish-purple flowers and nondescript foliage. Corn cockle can thrive in most soil and light conditions as long as there is sufficient moisture.

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