This section is from the book "Wayside And Woodland Blossoms", by Edward Step. Also available from Amazon: Wayside And Woodland Blossoms: A Guide To British Wild-Flowers.
The Common Bugle meets one from April to July in wood and field, and on the waste places by the roadside. It is a creeping plant, runners being sent out from the short stout rootstock, and these rooting send up flowering stems from ½ to 1 foot in height. The leaves from the root are stalked; those from the stem are not. The flowers and the upper bract are dull purple in colour. The flowers are peculiarly fashioned in what is botanically termed a labiate manner: that is to say, the five petals of the corolla are united to form a somewhat bell-shaped flower, the mouth of which is divided into two unequal lips. The upper lip is two-lobed, the lower three-lobed. The upper usually acts as a roof to shelter the stamens and stigmas, the lower as a platform upon which insects may alight when they come to seek honey and to fertilize the flower. In the present species the anthers and stigmas project beyond the upper lip, which is very short; but they are protected by the overhanging lower bract of the flower above. There are interesting facts in connection with the fertilization of these labiate flowers, which, however, we must leave for a couple of pages. It is characteristic of the Labiatae that the stems are square, the leaves opposite, the corolla bilabiate, the stamens less in number than the lobes of the corolla.
Ajuga reptans. - Labiateae. Forget-me-not.
Myosotis palustris. - Boragineae. -
- Plantagineae. The Forget-me-not is so well known that with our limited space we will be content with noting that its flowers are similar in structure to those of the Lungwort (page 9), though the tube is shorter. Like Puhnonaria, it is a plant of the order Boragineae, genus Myosotis. There are six British species. Name, from two Greek words signifying mouse-ear, in allusion to the shape of the leaves.