150. Bittersweet, Solarium Dulcamara, Bittersweet family. The slender stem rambles amongst bushes in hedges and woods: the leaves are almost compound, with 3 ovate lobes: the flowers occur in drooping clusters, and resemble those of its relative the potato in shape: the 5 petals are fine purple, each with 2 green spots, and in the centre of the flower is a little yellow crown of stamens: the flowers appear in summer, and are followed by small, red, slightly poisonous berries: the plant was formerly much employed medicinally.
151. Sweet Violet, Viola odorata, Violet family. Less common than the Dog Violet, the Sweet Violet is found in woods: the leaves are heart-shaped, with rounded tips and serrate margins: the flowers are purple in colour, or sometimes white, and sweet scented, appearing in spring: like the other violets, the sweet violet produces, besides the conspicuous coloured flowers, and later than these, small, green, bud-like flowers, which never open, but which nevertheless set abundant seed.
151. Sweet Violet.
152. Dog Violet.
152. Dog Violet, Viola canina, Violet family. One of the commonest and prettiest of our wild flowers: it is found in woods, hedges, on banks, river shingle, and along stream sides: the leaves are in a tuft, and are heart-shaped, with serrate edges: the flowers, borne singly on long stalks, are large, scentless, and purple, in some forms almost blue: one petal is provided with a nectar-containing spur: flowers in spring and early summer.
153. Red Campion, Lychnis dioica, Chickweed family. A handsome plant of hedges, banks, and woods: the tall (2 ft.) stem bears pairs of downy ovate leaves: the flowers, crowded at the apex, are large and red purple: male and female flowers occur on different plants. L. alba is a very similar plant, with white flowers, which have a delicate scent in the evening: both flower in summer.
154. Corn-Cockle, Lychnis Githago, Chickweed family. A striking weed of corn-fields: the stem is about 2 ft. high, with pairs of lance-shaped leaves: the flowers occur singly on stalks in the axils of the upper leaves; they are large and bright purple: if abundant, it is dangerous, as the seeds are poisonous and contaminate the grain with which they become mixed: flowers in summer.
153. Red Campion.
155. Fine-leaved Heath, Erica cinerea, Heath family. A small plant of dry heaths: the stem is erect, branched, and about 4 to 6 ins. high: the leaves are in whorls, generally of 3: the flowers, which occur in little clusters at the tips of the branches, are small, egg-shaped, with the mouth of the corolla pointing downwards and outwards; they are a rich purple in colour, and appear in summer.
156. Foxglove, Digitalis purpurea. Foxglove family. One of our most beautiful woodland plants: it produces in the first year a rosette of soft, broad, lance-shaped leaves, with serrate edges, and from this arise, in succeeding years, the tall, flowering stems: the flowers, which open in summer, are arranged in a handsome terminal spike: they are large, pendant, purple or rarely white, and, as the English and Latin names suggest, in shape like the finger of a glove: one of the few native plants which is still used medicinally, it contains a strong poisonous essence.
157. Butterwort, Pinguicula vulgaris, Butterwort family. A pretty little plant of bogs and wet heaths: the leaves, which are grouped in a rosette, are broadly elliptical, bright green, and viscid: from the rosette rise several slender flowering-stalks, each with a single flower, which superficially resembles that of the violet, and which is violet in colour: the edges of the leaves roll in on any insect which lights on them, and the prey is digested and utilised as food: flowers in early summer.
155. Fine-leaved Heath.
158. Wild Thyme, Thymus Serpyllum, Dead-nettle family. The stem is more or less woody, much branched, and spreads itself out on the dry banks, where the plant grows: the leaves are in pairs, small, and lance-shaped: the flowers are gathered at the tips of short, erect branches; they are small, purple, and appear in summer: the whole plant is pleasantly aromatic.
159. Ground-Ivy, Nepeta Glechoma, Dead-nettle family. The stem is branched and prostrate, with pairs of rounded, heart-shaped leaves on long stalks: the leaf margins are scalloped: the flowers are in clusters in the axils of the upper leaves: the corolla protrudes markedly from the calyx, and is bright bluepurple: common in shady woods, flowering in spring and early summer.
160. Self-heal, Prunella vulgaris, Dead-nettle family. A very common plant of meadows and pastures, flowering in late summer: the stem is less than 1 ft. high, and has pairs of blunt, ovate leaves: the flowers are crowded into terminal heads of a dull purple colour: occasionally white-flowered plants are found: formerly a highly prized "simple."
157. Butter wort.
158. Wild Thyme.
161. Betony, Stachys Betonica, Dead-nettle family. A plant of the woods and hedges: it may be most readily recognised by its paired, stalked leaves, which are oblong, with the base heartshaped, and with bluntly serrate margins: the stem is 1 to 2 ft. high, with the red-purple flowers mostly gathered in short terminal spikes: flowers in late summer and autumn.
162. Hedge-Woundwort, Stachys sylvatica, Dead-nettle family. A common plant of woods and thickets: the tall rank stem has pairs of large, stalked, serrate, heart-shaped leaves, with a peculiar soft, hairy surface: the flowers, which are small and dull purple, occur in little groups in the axils of the upper leaves: the plant has an unpleasant foetid odour, and was formerly used as a salve for cuts.
163. Early Purple Orchis, Orchis mas-cula, Orchis family. A fairly common and very handsome plant of pastures, flowering in early summer: the stem is 1 ft. high, and bears a long loose spike of fine purple flowers, each with a spur and a broad 3-lobed lip, the middle lobe notched in the middle: the leaves are long, fleshy, and spotted. 0. latifolia, the Marsh Orchis, has a denser spike, of deep purple flowers, the lips of which are only very slightly lobed: it is common on moist pastures, flowering in summer.
163. Early Purple Orchis.