I am increasingly enjoying photographing wild plants and flowers – and spent quite a bit of time doing this while on holiday in Ireland. I particularly like the matt grey-green tones of coastal plants like sea holly (above) or frosted orache (below)

I also love the humble sheeps-bit, whose purplish-blues and pinks are really quite spectacular.

Perhaps the colours of Ireland’s flora will translate themselves into knitting at some point. . . .

sea bindweed

northern marsh orchid

biting stonecrop

Am I a sea carrot? Suggestions gratefully received.

29 thoughts on “flora

  1. Beautiful photos! I, too, second the achillea/yarrow indentification. Actually my first thought has been that this is a “Schafgarbe” (Schaf=sheep=had to smile) which turns out to be the German word for yarrow. :) Sheeps everywhere, isn’t that nice!?


  2. Your pictures are very good. I love the sea holly but can’t help at all with the mystery plant. I also love photographing flowers and plants too but need to spend more time finding out what they are, as you so clearly have done. But then I’d go and forget their names again…


  3. Kate, I love noticing the Wild flowers too. I think walking slower helps you to notice and appreciate them. I love seeing how the flowers change as they get older through the seasons, and new varieties replace them. Small things can be so beautiful and give such pleasure.


  4. I’m another in the yarrow corner… I’m fairly sure that the last one is Achillea millefolium; plus, from what I can see of the leaves (if they are the leaves that belong to it), they look right too. Just checked – there’s a photograph of it in Roger Phillips’ Wild Flowers where the individual florets look almost exactly like this.


  5. Love that sea holly – never seen anything like that. Beautiful colours and shapes. Beautiful photos…

    I disagree with the last photo being yarrow – at least it sure is not like the yarrow in my front yard, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.


  6. The mistaken carrot – I agree with Becky: the flower is very much like yarrow (Achillea millefolium) from the daisy family – I have also seen some that are a pale pink. It’s not an umbel-like flowerhead from the carrot family, which the wonderful silvery blue sea holly belongs to.
    Althea (with a similar preference for bum-in-the-air examining the flora divided with admiring mountains and seascapes)


  7. I think maybe a yarrow (http://bit.ly/pvpWQt)? The tiny flowers look composite to me.
    It’s native to the N. hemisphere & can take on that delicate pinkish cast.

    Thanks for the pictures. I like knowing there’s something called sheep’s bit!


  8. Really lovely images, Kate!

    I am not well-versed in UK flora but I don’t think the last photo is a sea carrot. If you go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/44986095@N07 and compare it with photos that I took a few years ago in Donegal, you’ll see that the leaves of the sea carrot are deeply dissected and quite open compared to those of your plant and that the flowerhead shows the flat plate-like structure (made up of many individual flowers) that is characteristic of the Apiaceae family, whereas yours looks quite small and a bit more rounded. Of course, if it was a stunted plant, the flowerhead could be smaller like this but I would still expect to see more individual flowers- they’d just be smaller. Also the individual flowers of the sea carrot look more like this photo at http://accipiter.hawk-conservancy.org/images/200711/Carrot6.jpgt whereas yours look to me like something in the Asteraceae family. I see a strong similarity to yarrow (see http://www.cvni.org/wildflowernursery/wildflowers/yarrow) and when it is not an area that I am familiar with, I always assume that there are heaps of plants that I don’t know- but is it possible that it is simply yarrow or something similar?

    I’ll be really interested to see if anyone from closer to home can positively identify it!


  9. Beautiful flowers and beautiful photos – thank you so very much for sharing your vacation with you readers. I hope that these flowers do translate into knitting! I’m quite taken with the sea holly. All the Best!


  10. I think it is. All carrots are Daucus carota something or other (my favourite being Daucus carota ‘Trevor’), but according to thecarrotmuseum.co.uk your photo is of Daucus carota Gummifera, aka the sea carrot – very pretty it is too. In fact I think these appeared on the one of the gold winning gardens at Hampton Court. Lovely photographs as always.


  11. love that sheeps bit-gorgeous color
    I love to photograph flowers and other nature things too and many times get inspiration for knitting from them


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