Forest flowers in June

The sky was full of rain clouds today, thick and grey as dust. I managed a walk before any downpour and the floor of the forest was awash with life despite the past few months of distinctly dry weather. Last month seemed to be dominated by the colour yellow but now pink has taken over, in all shades from pale blush to a prominent plum.

My first encounter was with the tall pillars of foxglove (digitalis purpurea) these spires of spotted trumpets looked as if they were reigning over the smaller plants like snooty sentinels, keeping watch over the forest floor.

The ragged robin (lychris flos-cuculi) were like fireworks, their forked petals jutting out. Plenty of herb robert (geranium robertianum) still flourishes lower to the ground, small flowers with tiny stripes and beautiful leaves with crimped and curved edges. Even the blackberry bushes (rubus ulmfolius) have their pink offerings, wizened blooms where the autumnal fruits will appear.

Some other flowers stood out, the scented wild honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum) and the wild dog rose (rosa canina). Before long, both of these flowers will develop warmer roseate hues.

The walk I usually take is around the area near Wootton Bridge, in the New Forest. I was surprised to find that most of these new blooms are listed as meadow flowers. There were plenty of compact rushes (juncus conglomeratus) with tiny bunches of flowers perched halfway up the stem and the stalk meadow thistle (cirsium dissectum) which stands like a stunning, solitary puff of pale purple on a leafless stalk.

I was searching for the Heath spotted orchid (dactylorhiza maculata) that my family had spotted yesterday, but I didn’t wander far enough down the track and the glorious bloom eluded me. My brother took a photo that I will share with his permission. Tomorrow, is another day…

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