List of British Flowers

Written by jenny e
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List of British Flowers
Britain is home to many indigenous flowers. (primrose image by Maria Brzostowska from

The British landscape is dotted with many types of flowers which are native to that region. There are flowers such as Foxglove, Yellow Iris, Birthwort , Daffodils and English primrose to mention only a few. Almost all of these flowers naturally occur in the wild, all about the English countryside and can be seen in the homes of individuals where they are used as ornamental plants.

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Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)

Foxglove, also known as dead man's bells, bloody fingers, fairy caps, witches' gloves and fairy

thimbles is a herbaceous perennial which is native to western and south western Europe northwester Asia and parts of Africa. The foxglove is a very flamboyant plant which is common as a wild flower in Great Britain where it is found, growing in great profusion in lanes and woods especially in South Devon, all the way from Cornwall through Orkney and Kent. the foxglove does not require a lot of soil in order to grow and as such it can be found in rocky areas, in between granite crevices and along roadsides. The flowers of the foxglove grow on a spikelike stem and they resemble a bell. the colours vary and could be anything from yellow, purple, white to pink. The most popular species of foxglove is the Common Foxglove which is a biennial. It's popularity is due to its spectacular flowers which give them a lot of value as an ornamental plant.

The foxglove is common as a wild flower in Great Britain.
The foxglove is common as a wild flower in Great Britain. (foxglove image by david purday from

Yellow Iris (Iris pseudacorus L.)

The yellow Iris is another plant which is native to Europe and the British Isles. It is also native to the Mediterranean, parts of Asia and parts of Africa. The iris is a herbaceous perennial which grows to between 3 and 4 feet. It has green leaves which are stiff and shaped like a sword. The flowers of the yellow iris are yellow to cream and several of them can be found on a stem. The yellow iris is primarily planted as an ornamental plant; however, it has uses as a method for the control of erosion and for the removal of metals in sewage treatment plants. The yellow iris is planted in gardens flower baskets and flower pots, but in its natural environment, it can be found growing freely in stream-banks, rocky shores, wetlands and floodplain forests. The yellow iris is a poisonous plant and caution should be applied when handling any part the plant. The yellow iris can also cause skin irritation.

The yellow iris is an ornamental plant.
The yellow iris is an ornamental plant. (yellow iris image by rafalwit from

Birthwort (Aristolochia clematis)

Birthworts also known as Dutchman's pipes or pipevines are herbaceous perennials which can be found growing naturally in Britain and other parts of the world, such as the Mediterranean. The birthwort has a pleasant smell which attracts insect pollinators. The insects become trapped inside the perianth tube for a while after which they are released, covered with pollen. The reason why the plant is called a birthwort is due to the shape of the flowers which resembles a birth canal. In England, the fresh juice from the birthwort was traditionally used to induce labour. The birthwort is used as an ornamental plant due to its showy flowers.

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