The Natives

The Natives

This blog entry will be updated during the year as plants come into season.

This page was last modified on:  

27 May 2023

Rowan Flowers

A flowerhead made up of small flowerbuds which have yet to open and other flowers which have broken into full bloom.
All the rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) trees are coming into flower at the moment and they look lovely. This flowerhead is a mix of flowerbuds still to open and flowers in full bloom.


A bright yellow buttercup against a green background. There's a little insect, possibly an ant, on the edge of one of the petals.
I'm pleased to see yet another insect crawling over the wildflowers. This looks to be an ant crawling on the edge of one of the buttercup (Ranunculus sp.) petals.

Holly Flowers

We have a group of shiny holly leaves and all along the stem are clusters of small white-cream coloured flowers. The flowers are tiny and have a waxy appearance.
I didn’t really think about it before, but before the Holly has berries it must have flowers. So, I was delighted to see clusters of flowerbuds appearing all along the branches of this holly bush (Ilex aquifolium). They are incredibly small flowers which I think have a very waxy appearance.

Hawthorn Flowers

A small branch sweeps in from the to right hand corner. If has several hawthorn leaves. All along the branch are clusters of small white hawthorn flowers. In each cluster there is a mix of flowers which are still in but and others which are in full bloom.
There are several areas in the woodland that have Hawthorn but each one I checked was just at the flowerbud stage. Then, just after I finished photographing another plant, I stood up, turned round to be greeted with this beautiful show of flowers. I hadn’t really checked out the flowers in any detail before and I was surprised to see the ends of the stamens being so pink.

Ribwort Plantain

This is a single stalk topped by a dark centre area and around it are stamen on little stalks.
The central part of this hasn’t been fully formed I was taken by the ring of white round the whole area. When I was wee we used to play with these. We called them Soldiers and the objective of the game was to hit your opponents plant and knock the flowerhead off.

Pignut and Cocksfoot Moths

This is a closeup photograph of a pignut flower head. This is an umbel-type flower head consisting of many tiny white flowers. There are 3 cocksfoot moths on some of the flowers.
There are a patch of these at the edge of the woodland and not far from an agricultural field. I took several photos in this batch and was amazed at the number of insects of some of the photos – on one photo I counted as many as 11 moths. This photos has 3 cocksfoot moths on some of the flower heads.

Cobweb on Great Wood Rush

Against a brownish background we find this great woodrush flower head which has been turned into a massive spiders web.
I thought this looked quite spectacular as I walked past. This is the flowerhead of a great wood rush plant which has been turned into a massive spiders web – if you look closely you will see the spiders web extends down the stalk of the plant. In addition there looks to be some seedheads also caught up in the cobweb.

Garlic Mustard

Against a brownish background we find this white umbel type plant. It has wide toothed green leaves and several white flowerheads on stalks. Each flower has 4 petals.
Another umbel type white flower. This plant has very distinctive leaves and has several heads of white flowers. It took be quite some time to identify it as there are so many white umbel type plants but eventually I decided it was Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata).

Dog Violet

This photograph was taken at ground level and we can see leaves of grass. Inbetween the grass are the roughly heart shaped leaves of a Dog Violet plant. Amongst the grass is the 5 petals of the dog violet flower. There are 2 petals above and 3 petals below. The middle of the lower petals has a much darker pattern.
I have been trying to capture a photo of dog violet (Viola riviniana) that I am happy with. Finally, I found this lovely little flower at the edge of one of the paths. And there it is, happy among all the grasses.


Nestling among lots of leaves and grass is a group of 6 little daisy flowers. There is a small insect of the flower heads.
These are a really common flower in this area but there aren’t a massive number in the woodland. However, I did find this patch near one of the unofficial paths. As you will be able to see, there is a little insect on one of the daisy (Bellis perennis) flowers.


Against a green background there is a group of pink flowers with very pale veins running down each of the petals. There are 4 petals on each flower.
Between the woodland and a public road there is a grassed area. There’s a bank which is full of introduced and wild flowers. One such flower is this beautiful little native cuckooflower (Cardamine pratensis). I particularly like the veins in each of the petals.

Cow Parsley

A the top of the stalk of this plant is split into several umbel like flowerheads. Each large flowerhead is split into several small stalks – each ending in a cluster of small white flowers. They look very vibrant against a brown leaf background.
This plant took me a while to identify. There are many white umbel-type flowers, including several in the woodland, so I had to go back to basics and identify by leaf type, leaf positions and flower head, as well as the location it was growing. Once you look up close this has beautiful little flowers within each head.


In the centre of the photo is a stalk which at regular intervals has a pair of leaves and small blue cylindrical flowers.
At first glance I thought this was mint, but on closer examination I realised that it wasn’t. So out with the identification books (and websites) and I believe this a Bugle (Ajuga reptans). Although I have photographed one stem, there are several in this area.

Bee On Vetch

A stack of green leaves comes from the right hand side of the photo. The stack ends in purple vetch flowers. There is an orange and black bee feeding from the flower.
I couldn’t believe it! I was walking past and noticed this vetch (Ervilia sylvatica) – which I decided to photograph. Then, along came a bee and photobombed the image. I think it might be a tawny mining bee – but whatever it is, I was pleased to see it going about its business.

Crab Apple

Against a green background is a group of flowers. This group of flowers has a flower bud which has just broken, and three other buds which are nearly open and a flower which is in full bloom. The main flower in full bloom is white with a tinge of pink, whereas the other partially opened buds are predominantly pink with white.
I was walking up the path and these were nestled in amongst a beech tree. They gave a much needed splash of colour. I love how this group of flowers have a flower bud which has just broken, and three other buds which are nearly open and a flower which is in full bloom. I feel it gives an overview of the progression from bud to flower.

Lesser Celandine

This is a closeup photograph of a patch of flowers. There are dark green shiny leaves which are heart shaped. Amongst them are bright yellow flowers. These are Lesser Celandine.
There Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria) are part of the buttercup family. This year they were amongst the first flowers in the woods and brought a bright spring feel to the woodland.


A patch of leaves with tiny white flowers. These are chickweed
This is probably the bane of every gardeners live but here in its natural setting the Chickweed (Stellaria media) looks lovely. This is a really closeup photo as the flowers in real life are tiny and you have to look really hard to see them.

Fairy Inkcap AKA Fairies Bonnets

Amongst undergrowth we see the stump of a tree. The stump is covered in moss and these amazing clumps of fungi. These are Fairy Inkcap fungi aka Fairies Bonnets.
I was really fortunate to come across this tree stump when I did. It was amazing how many fungi were spread around the trunk. The patch on the right hand side were older and had started to break down. A few days later they had turned into a black inky looking splodge - no wonder they have been given the name fairy inkcap.
A closeup photo of a patch of Fairy Inkcap fungi. These are pale brown and in some of them towards the left of the photo you can see they have started to break down and are turning slightly black. All over the surface of the cap are deep grooves running from top to bottom.
One of the first things that caught my eye with these fungi are the deep grooves on the cap. The second thing was how tightly packed they were together. You can't get any idea of the length of their stalks. I've come across a couple of different names for them: fairy inkcap or fairies bonnets.


On the right hand side of the photo is the woodland floor which is covered in dead leaves. On the left hand side of the photo is a dandelion plant with 5 flowers. On one of the flowers there are at least 3 different species of insects.
There are dandelion (Taraxacum sp.) plants throughout the woodland. These are a native plant. It was only once I uploaded the photo to my computer that I realised that one of the flowers had at least 3 different species of insects.
What a seed-head! This is a closeup image of a dandelion seed-head. It is fluffy white but the seeds are visible in the centre. However, one of the seeds has already come detached.
What a seed-head! I have been watching all the dandelions turning from flowers into these large fluffy seed-heads. Normally, I do this and then there’s a slight breeze and they’re gone before I can catch them. But not this year… However, I think I only just made it as if you look closely one of the seeds has already come detached.


In the centre of the photo are 5 stalks on a bracken The stalks are green with brown thorn-like appendages on the stalk. At the top of each stalk the stalk is curled round what looks like 5 green segments.
As I was walking along Dunglass Road one afternoon I noticed these. I went back later that evening to photograph them as I wanted to catch them before they uncurled. I hadn't noticed before how the stalk had the brown thorn-like appendages.

Great Wood-Rush

The background is deliberately blurred out to draw attention to the flowering Great Wood-rush in the foreground. The plant consists of a stalk that has left the leafy base of the plant. At the top of the stalk are a group of much smaller stalks that end with a small dark brown flowerhead.
I'm so used to passing this Great Wood-Rush (Luzula sylvatica) every day and am really used to seeing the really lush green leaves. It's nice at this time of year, to see the flower heads rising high above the leaves.

Grape Hyacinth

Grape hyacinth flowers. A photo of a group of slim green leaves and amongst them are spikes of flowers. The flowers are blue and are made up of small globular flowers making up a triangular head.
This is a small patch of Grape Hyacinth flowers (Muscari). There are some Grape Hyacinths which are native to the UK. However, as these were flowering in an area which is frequently used to dump garden cuttings and weeds I suspect these are an escaped cultivar.

Greater Stitchwort

A beautiful small plant in the sunshine. There are 5 white petals each of which have a deep notch in the top of each petal – so at a quick glance it looks as if there are 10 petals. In the middle of each plant we see golden dots of yellow pollen on its stamens.
I think these are beautiful little native wildflowers which appear every year in the woodland. Every time I see them I feel that spring really has arrived. Apparently stitchwort (Stellaria holostea) got its name as it was used as a remedy for when you got a pain in your side when you exercised, ie a stitch. It’s also a really good early source of nectar for bees, butterflies and moths.


A close up of a bluebell plant. The bluebells are white with a very subtle hint of pink. Some of the bluebells are in full flower and the petals have curled back. There are other buds which are still to open and others which are very nearly fully open. At the end of the bell of the flower in the middle is an insect.
I’ll confess – I didn’t actually notice the insect when I was taking the photo, I only noticed it once I uploaded it to the computer. I was actually taking a photo of these bluebells (Hyacinthoides sp.). I really liked their colour as they are white but with a subtle hint of pink. These were among some of the first bluebells to flower this year.
This is a patch of bluebells at one of the entrances to the woodland. They make a very bright and cheerful welcome to the woodland. I like the mix of blue, pink and white among the undergrowth. These have larger flowers that the bluebells in the Memory Tree area.
This is a patch of bluebells (Hyacinthoides sp.) at one of the entrances to the woodland. They make a very bright and cheerful welcome to the woodland. I like the mix of blue, pink and white among the undergrowth. These have larger flowers that the bluebells in the Memory Tree area.
The sun is shining of this clump of bluebells. There are pink bluebells on the left and on the right there’s blue bluebells. To the left of the pink bluebells is a spider hanging in a web. There are other insects caught up in the web.
While there is one big patch of bluebells (Hyacinthoides sp.) in the woodland, there are several areas that have smaller clumps of flowers. This is one of those clumps. They are a beautiful mix of both pink and blue bluebells. It’s really nice to see that there are insects close to these flowers – in this case a spider.
The background to this photo is deliberately not in focus. In the centre of the photo is a bluebell stalk with 4 flowers. The petals of the bluebell flowers have slightly wavy sides. The petals are also well curled back.
These bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) are located in a very old part of the woodland. They are well established in the area. One of the things that is most noticeable is that these flower heads are much thinner than the bluebells elsewhere in the woodland. I suspect these are a very old species.

Chickweed - Wintergreen

This photo was taken not long after a heavy rain shower so the leaves are covered in drops of water. The flower is a small white flower with 7 petals. There are little dots of yellow from the pollen covered stamen.
There’s a section in the woodland which is full of native species. I found these beautiful little flowers around the edges of the paths in that area. I couldn’t believe that this is a variety of chickweed (Lysimachia europaea) – I foolishly thought that chickweed was the weed in the garden but there are so many lovely varieties.

Germander Speedwell

In amongst grasses was a small blue flower – a Germander Speedwell.
As I was walking down one of the paths I came across this little plant. At first glance I thought it was a Forget-me-not but no, its a Germander Speedwell. They are so tiny! All of the plants I have fund in the woodland are growing within grasses, so a flash of blue was the first indicator that they were there.

Tuberous Comfrey

This plant has large green leaves and much smaller tubular flowers. The flowers are a creamy colour. There is a bumble bee feeding from one of the plants.
There’s a large patch of tuberous comfrey in the woodland. This is a very interesting plant as it was originally recorded as being native to Scotland where it is thought to have originated as a medicinal plant. It was discovered in the wild in 1765 along the Water of Leith. However, recently it has been reclassified as an introduced neophyte. While I was photographing these flowers along came a bee and photobombed my shot – and I’m delighted it did so. It’s great to see the wide variety of insects that are present in the woodland.

Welsh Poppy

This is a vibrant yellow Welsh Poppy. As this photo is taken looking into the poppy we can see the stigmatic discs very clearly.
There are several Welsh Poppy plants along Dunglass Road. These are another native plant.

Wood Sorrel

A small white woodland flower which has lilac/purple veins running the length of each of the petals.
With its leaves which are reminiscent of clover this small Wood Sorrel flower is absolutely stunning. I had originally thought that it was another white woodland flower until I looked more closely and I realised it has lilac/purple veins running the length of each petal. This is another native plant.

Hoof Fungi

This is a downy birch tree which is covered in lichen. In the middle is a small hoof fungus.
I’m used to seeing much larger hoof fungi and really liked this one because it was so small. It really looks like a horses’ hoof.


This full photograph is taken up with the bright vibrant yellow of the Broom flowers. This is set against the non-spiky leaves of the bush.
I particularly like the Broom (Cytisus scoparius) in the spring as it looks really vibrant.

Whin And Bee

This photograph shows the bright yellow flowers of the whin bush set against its dense spines. There is a bee sitting on one of the flowers.
There are several whin (Ulex europaeus) bushes in the woodland. I was particularly pleased when I was photographing this bush as a bee photobombed the photo and landed on one of the flowers. As you can see one of the legs is full of pollen – so a very productive morning for this wee bee.

Birch Polypore

This is a downy birch which is covered in lichen. On the left hand side is a large bracket fungus which I think is a birch polypore.
This is a downy birch (Betula pubescens) which is covered in lichen. On the left hand side is a large bracket fungus which I think is a birch polypore.

Black Bark

A fallen tree is lying across this photo. The bark of the tree is black and is unevenly textured. There is a piece of bark which is hanging off and it looks like lattice-work.
I noticed that this tree had fallen and that it was black. I had initially wondered if it had been burnt but there was no other evidence for that. I suspect that this is some type of lichen. The bark is really interesting as it has now got a lattice-work appearance as it is decaying.

Downy Birch Catkins

There are two different catkins in this photo. The long lighter coloured catkins in this photo are the male catkins. While the female catkins are standing erect. They appear together on the same branches.
I find the different catkins incredibly interesting. While some trees eg the Goat Willow (Salix caprea) only has either male or female catkins on the tree the Downy Birch has both. The long lighter coloured catkins in this photo are the male catkins. While the female catkins are standing erect. As you can see they appear together on the same branches.

Goat Willow - Female Catkins

In the background, and out of focus, is the branches of a tree. In the foreground are the female catkins of the Goat Willow tree. Tiny leaves have started to appear at the base of each catkin. The catkin themselves are cylindrical with spikes and at the end of each spike is a little brown seed.
For a few days I had thought that this tree had produced leaves and then I looked closer and realised that it was actually catkins. This is a native tree to our part of Scotland. Interestingly Goat Willow (Salix caprea) trees will have either female or male catkins – not both. These are female catkins.


Several thin spikes of a plant which has bright pinkish-red flowers.
A closeup photo of small Blaeberry, which is also known as Bilberry, flowers. There’s a small patch of these in the Community Woodland and this photo was taken in April 2023 when they had just produced bright pinkish-red globular flowers. These will produce dark berries later in the year.

Oyster Mushrooms

There is a tree trunk with some beautiful mushrooms attached to it. The way the photo has been taken you can see the top of cap of some of the mushrooms, but the underside of some of the others.
These fungi just jumped out at me when I was passing the tree. They looked so beautiful and perfect – they looked good enough to ear. However, I never eat wild mushrooms/fungi as I don’t have the confidence that I have correctly identified them.

Black Berries

This is a photo of a group of little black berries lying amongst some leaves.
I was exploring a little used part of the woodland when I came across these little black berries. I suspect that they were produced last year. I don’t know what species they are but I’ll be keeping an eye on the location this year to try to identify via leaves and flowers.

Orange Lichen

What a vibrant shade of orange! This is a downy birch which is covered in several different types of lichen. I suspect the orange is a lichen too.
What a vibrant shade of orange! This is a downy birch which is covered in several different types of lichen. I suspect the orange is a lichen too.

This blog entry will be updated during the season as  more  plants come into season – please remember to pay a return visit to see the changes.

This blog was last modified on:  

27 May 2023