Jul 092014
 

Enchanters nightshade	Circaea lutetianaThere are not many flowers that will bloom in complete shade; most woodland flowers bloom before the trees com into leaf. One exception is this delicate white flower, Enchanter’s Nightshade. According to Greek legend, the enchantress Circe used a potion containing this plant to turn Odysseus’ men into pigs. Ironically, this plant doesn’t even belong to the Nightshade family, but it’s a good story and gives this flower a certain mystique.

 

Jul 082014
 

Samolus valerandi  Falcaire uisce wildflower, flower, Connemara, Ireland, Galway, Britain, Irish, British,This lakeside plant has clumps of little white flowers, which grow on long stalks from a base of yellowish-green, succulent leaves. I have come across claims that the leaves are edible, but I have never met anybody who says that they have tried them! I have come across brookweed growing on the Connemara seashore as well as lakeshores. Samolus valerandi  Falcaire uisce wildflower, flower, Connemara, Ireland, Galway, Britain, Irish, British,

Jul 072014
 

marsh woundwort Stachys palustris connemara wildflower

I walked past this tall purplish-pink flower several times without looking at it closely, thinking it was more Purple Loosetrife. On closer inspection I saw that the flowers are quite different, with a pronounced lip almost like an orchid. This woundwort grows in one spot on our lane, and I have also seen it on one of the nearby offshore islands. Woundworts get their name from the fact that they were once used as a herbal remedy to help heal wounds. They do indeed have antiseptic properties, although they have a rather unpleasant smell, more pronounced in the case of Hedge Woundwort.

Marsh Woundwort Stachys palustris

Jul 072014
 

Mouse Ear flower, Cerastium fontanum

This tiny flower grows up through the long grass that is threatening to engulf our neglected garden. It is similar to the related stitchworts and chickweeds, but is easily distinguished by its hairy stems and leaves (which resemble mouse ears, which may be where the name comes from). The petals are deeply notched, giving the impression that there are more than 5.

Jul 062014
 

Pipewort Eriocaulon aquaticum wildflower, flower, Connemara, Ireland, Galway, Britain, Irish, British,

This unusual plant usually grows in water, with just the button-like flowers appearing above the surface. However, the weather has been unusually dry in the West of Ireland this year, so I photographed these at the edge of a lake, where the water had receded.

Jul 052014
 

Marsh Speedwell  Veronica scutellata wildflower, flower, Connemara, Ireland, Galway, Britain, Irish, British,

The water level in the lake near our house in Moyard is exceptionally low after a very dry month of June. I took advantage of this to explore around the lake-edge which is usually under water. That is where I noticed this tiny little speedwell in among the reeds and rushes.

Jul 042014
 

water lily, white, White Water-lily,Nymphaea alba wildflower, flower, Connemara, Ireland, Galway, Britain, Irish, British,

 

The White Water-lily, ( Nymphaea alba) is one of the most impressive wild flowers in Connemara, looking like a lotus flower floating on the water of our unpolluted lakes. I photographed this flower in a lake called  Lough na bhFaioleann (Lake of the Seagulls) in the spectacular wild surroundings of Roundstone Bog.

Jul 032014
 

Yellow Water-lily Nuphar lutea, wildflower, flower, Connemara, Ireland, Galway, Britain, Irish, British,

The impressive flowers of the Yellow Water-lily  (Nuphar lutea) can be seen in lakes and slow-moving rivers throughout Connemara. The large flowers are held above the surface of the water on thick stalks, and the heart-shaped leaves float on the surface.

Jul 022014
 

Water Lobelia, Lobelia dortmanna, wildflower, flower, Connemara, Ireland, Galway, Britain, Irish, British,I came across this pretty little water flower growing in a lake in Roundstone Bog, one of Connemara’s wildest and most unspoiled habitats, with its network of rivers and lakes. I subsequently found it growing practically on my own doorstep, in Garraunbaun Lake in Moyard. The white flowers grow above the water on long stalks, while the leaves are under water.