This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol2-4", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
What will at once strike the observant mind is the open character of meadow lands as a rule, if one ignores the boundary hedges. A stretch of meadows unrelieved by woodland or water appeals at once to one as a great expanse characterized by its openness.
With this broad fact is connected the main character of meadow and pasture plants. They are as a rule sun plants, being on all hands exposed to the heat and warmth of the sun. There are no longer as a general rule trees giving an ample shade above, and the shade plants in the meadows for this reason seek the shelter of the hedgerow, where they can lurk in the undergrowth much as they did formerly when denizens of the forest.
In examining the meadow or pasture some plants will be found that have not yet retreated to the hedge or become extinct, such as Wood Betony, whilst in the hedge itself the Greater Stitchwort may be found. Both indicate woodland conditions formerly. Amongst the grass, or upon banks, mosses and other lowly plants will be found, also, that have survived the conversion of woodland into meadows. The discovery of such relics will provide at least one problem of interest in this direction.