It’s almost mid-summer – one of our favourite times of year when the local wildlife is out in force and the hedges, highways and fields are alive with colour, buzzing with brilliant pollinators. We’ve put together a list of some of our favourite wildflowers that you can see around our local area, so if you’re out and about on the West Pentire headland, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for these beauties…
Poppies (Papaver rhoeas)
The poppies are an absolute show-stopper here at Crantock and are certainly hard to miss! The fields just behind The Bowgie are completely transformed by these glorious flowers in mid-summer, and we love seeing your photos of them. Poppies take their time to show off their true glory – their frond-like petals and hairy stems grow slowly but surely throughout the spring. The buds emerge with their heads bowed over right until the last minute, when they stand up and pop open, unfurling their wonderful tissue-like petals to the world in an amazing display of colour. They love light, well-drained soil in the sun, and thrive in cultivated ground. But one of the loveliest qualities of this flower is when the pepper-pot seed heads dry out, and you can hear the tiny seeds rattling around inside like a mini maraca!
Thrift/Sea Pinks (Armeria maritima)
The ultimate early summer flower in Cornwall – we love to see the cliffs and headlands covered in these gorgeous little pink pom-poms bobbing and nodding in the breeze. These hardy plants are extremely salt tolerant, which means they can thrive on our rugged coast – you’ll often find them bravely established on the rocks themselves, their roots grabbing a foothold in the tiniest of cracks and crevices. With evergreen leaves, they flower from late spring into early summer in a variety of pinks, from dusty rose to striking magenta. You can find them all across Cornwall, but the stretch between Newquay and Padstow is particularly glorious.
Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria)
Kidney Vetch is another abundant summer flower on our glorious coast. A low-growing plant that carpets out with beautiful silvery leaves from a central woody base, with flower heads that are actually clusters of smaller blooms. They mostly appear in shades of vibrant yellow and pinky-purple, and are also known as Lady’s Fingers or Woundwort, as in times gone by it was used to treat injuries and kidney problems. There’s a particularly good stretch for spotting these just above Whipsiderry cove, by Porth.
Cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris)
Another prolific summer appearance and one of the earliest flowers – great for the bees! Cow parsley is common and found all over in meadows and hedges, with large plate-like faces of tiny white flowers. Technically, these are “umbelliferous” because the blooms are clustered into an umbrella like formation – but since they grow tall, we think they’re more like clouds floating high above the shorter plants. Also known as Queen Anne’s lace reflecting the delicate flowers, a darker folk name for this plant is “mother die” or “mummy die” to deter children from picking it – to an untrained eye it has similar leaves to Hemlock Water Dropwort, a deadly plant.
Corn Marigold (Glebionis segetum)
In the past this blazing, sunshiny flower was regarded as a common weed, but its cheerful little face is always welcome here at The Bowgie. Until recently, they were classified as a type of chrysanthemum. Their large daisy-like flowers have a central disc which is brilliant for pollinating insects, and they can grow up to a metre tall. They do well in sandy soils so it’s not surprising to find them down here in Cornwall! Flowering from June to August, you can always find them at West Pentire – just round the corner from us!
So there you you have it, five fabulous wildflowers to go out and spot on your next visit. There are plenty more out there as well with some great names – from sheep’s bit to bird’s foot, and stonecrop to ox-eye daisies!
Share your photos using #letsseayoursnaps on our socials if you spot any during your wanders around the beautiful headland we call home – there’s always a new corner or view we haven’t seen!
And just as a gentle reminder before we go, please make sure a photograph is all you take with you when you leave our stretch of coast – the flowers might be pretty, but they’re much prettier in the ground where they belong!
Team Bowgie xxx