Summer leaves and blooms- A Study in Plants.
Summer is over. My favourite season is here!
I was trying to brush up on botany this summer, and I've always loved botanical illustrations- below, I've compiled some photographs of some of the summer foliage I've encountered this year, alongside my own attempt at illustrating them. I used the Wild Flower Key to help me identify the various flowers I encountered- this book is an absolute must have for anyone interested in botany.
I hope this helps me remember the species in the future!
Midland Hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata )
A deciduous shrub or tree- sometimes known as the 'May-tree', after it's flowering month. They are dense, thorny, and can reach a height of around 15m, though some do not grow over 1m high. This Hawthorn often hybridises with C. monogyna (C. x media), and is mostly found in older woodlands on heavier soils.
The leaves, like C. monogyna, are still deeply lobed, but are more rounded at the tip.
The blossoms are 5-8mm, with 5 petals. Usually with 2-3 carpels that are free from one another (female organs of the flower, sometimes joined).
Germander Speedwell (Veronica chamaedrys)
Family: Scrophulariaceae (Figwort)
A creeping or ascending stem, around 20cm tall. The axis is covered is finely haired. These plants can be easily spotted in most woodland areas in the UK, but also on roadsides, grassy lanes and hedgerows. They are considered a good luck charm for travellers!
Leaves are 1-3cm long, and are oval-triangular and stalkless- the leaves are borne directly from the axis. They are blunty-toothed, hairy and cordate based (broad leaves that end in a single point).
The flowers are about 1cm wide, and bright violet-blue with a white centre.
Heath Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza maculata)
20-40cm tall, upright. Widespread across mountainous regions across Europe. This particular one was spotted in my hometown in Derbyshire. It prefers peat-rich heathland.
Leaves are lanceolate, with a purple, circular spotted pattern.
The flowers are much less lobed than D. fuchsii, with the markings on the petals more streak, or loop like than simply dotted.