By Amelia Meyer
England is a beautifully green country, known for its lush meadows and exquisitely colourful gardens. Its unique flora is varied, ranging from towering trees to dense bush, flowers, crops, fruit trees, vines and shrubs.
There are at least 50 trees species that are native to England and well over 900 species of bryophytes (e.g. mosses).
A large tree and green forest canpoy,Shidben Valley, West Yorkshire, England
There are large forested areas throughout England, adding a distinctive beauty to the landscape. The main tree species that inhabit both these forests and other natural areas include:
A large proportion of the land comprises farming or agricultural areas. These are occupied by crops like:
In the wide open expanses, explorers will find flowering heathers, gorse, shrubs, Snowdrops, Bluebells, Daffodils, Buttercups, and so on. This abundance and colour has been the inspiration behind many works of art, both written and drawn or painted. Of course, roses are the national flower and one of the most profuse and well-loved flowers across England.
Some of the most popular and well-known plants of England are highlighted below.
Pedunculate Oak (Quercus robur)
Also known as the English Oak, this tree is an important member of the English flora as its acorns are the chief source of food for squirrels, and similar animals. It usually grows to between 25 and 35 metres in height, but can exceed 40 metres in some cases. Flowering takes place during spring and the acorn fruits appear in the following autumn. This tree enjoys a long lifespan of several hundred years.
Field Rose (Rosa arvensis)
The Field Rose is far less ornate than ordinary roses and has white or cream flowers. Its red fruits are favoured as quick snacks for many animals and birds, making them important resources for the fauna of England too. This wild rose can be grown as a hedge or as a creeper. If left unattended, it will sprawl extensively. The Field Rose is not fussy about the soil in which it grows, making it a particularly easy plant to grow.
St John’s Wort (Hypericum olympicum)
The bright yellow flowers characterise this shrub, acclaimed for its medicinal properties. It is also known as Tipton’s Weed, Chase-devil, or Klamath Weed. It usually grows to about 250 millimetres high and 500 millimetres wide. It is probably best known for the treatment of depression, but has also been used to treat alcoholism and ADHD. However, before using this plant as treatment, it is crucial that you first consult with a medical practitioner.
Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)
Meadowsweet is recognised by its large white blooms and strong fragrance. It is a perennial herb that thrives in moist conditions, hence its being found mainly in lush meadows or next to streams. It is known by many names; among them Meadow Queen and Bridewort. The dark green leaves have a much lighter underside, which feels soft and downy. Meadowsweet is used as an aromatic addition to food and an added flavouring to wine, beer and some vinegars. It can also be ingested for the treatment of flu symptoms or diarrhoea. Because of its sweet smell, butterflies and bees gravitate towards this plant.
For more information, please view: http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/