Greater Burdock is commonly known as ‘Sticky Jack’ or ‘Stickleback’ because of their hooked seedheads. While children may delight in throwing the burs at each other’s clothing, their function is to attach themselves to animals to aid seed dispersal. Found alongside footpaths and roadside verges, Greater Burdock flowers from July to September and is a great source of nectar and pollen for bees, wasps and butterflies.
Yarrow with its flat-topped clusters of white flower heads, each one comprising a mass of yellowish disc florets and pinky-white ray florets, is one of the more easily recognised wildflowers. Yarrow is a strong-smelling perennial and a tough plant of grasslands, verges and meadows, that has been used to help restore arable land to grassland by sowing it along with other natives.
The rounded and nodding, blue to pinky-purple flower heads of Devil's-bit Scabious are in bloom between July and October, and its pincushion-like flower heads attract a wide variety of butterflies and bees. It is also the food plant for the declining Marsh Fritillary Butterfly which is classified as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.
Wild grasses and oats abound along farmland verges and are a useful addition to flower decorations.