Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Alliaria officinalis Andrz.

Name: Alliaria officinalis Andrz.
syn. Alliaria petiolata (M. Bieb.) Cavara & Grande
Croatian name: Češnjača
English name: Garlic mustard
Family: Brassicaceae

This is biennial plant growing from a deep tap root. Plant grows to 1 m tall. Triangularly shaped leaves have toothed margins and smell of garlic when crushed. The white flowers have four petals and
are clustered at the end of the stem. Fruit: silique
Plant produces lots of small, black seeds.

The plant is edible.

Location: Lipik

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Gagea pulsilla (Schm.) R. S.

Name: Gagea pulsilla (Schm.) R. S.
Croatian name: Baloče cjevasto
English name: Yellow Star of Bethlehem
Family: Liliaceae

Similar to Gagea lutea, only the leaves are very narrow, almost tubular. It flowers in March and April.

Location: Lipik

Gagea lutea L.

Name: Gagea lutea (L.) Ker.G.
syn. Gagea sylvatica L.
Croatian name: Baloče
English name: Yellow Star of Bethlehem
Family: Liliaceae

The plant grows in dump deciduous forests in early Spring. It can be found in Europe and west Asia. There is one bulb in the ground from which usually one leaf and one flower stem forms. The leaf is broad and lance-late. Flower stem carries up to 5 star-like yellow flowers. Flower consists of six tepals.
It flowers in March and April.

Location: Lipik

Monday, 4 October 2010

Prunus padus L.

Name: Prunus padus L.
Croatian name: Sremza
English name: Bird Cherry, Hagberry
Family: Rosaceae

This is up to 16 m high, deciduous tree that can be found in Europe and Eurasia. It grows in the woods in moist soil.
The white flowers are clustered in racemes. It flowers in Spring.
The flowers are white; have five petals and five sepals. Flowers are hermaphroditic and pollinated by bees.

 The fruit is dark red (almost black) "cherry", readily eaten by birds.
The leaves are elliptical, with serrate margins.

The Bird Cherry is used as decorative species in parks and gardens.

Location: Lipik

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Rosa canina L.

Name: Rosa canina L.
Croatian name: Pasja ruža
English name: Dog-rose
Family: Rosaceae

This is the beautiful wild rose deciduous bush with long arching branches. It grows in bright woods, solitary in the fields, or in natural hedges often growing through the other bushes. The bark is brownish, on young branches green and smooth. The bush has strong, very widely spread root system.
The stems are covered with small, hooked prickles that help it in climbing. The leaves are serrate, shiny and green, pinnate with five to eight leaflets.

The flowers are usually pale pink, but variate from white to dark pink. It flowers from May to June.The flower has five petals, five sepals an numerous stamens. It is pollinated by bees.
The aggregate fruit is called the rose hip, and contains a number of hard, hairy achenes.

NB. The rose hips contain lots of vitamin C and are used in medicine and cosmetic industry. Tea and marmalade can be made of rose hips.

Location: Lipik

Galeopsis speciosa Mill.

Name: Galeopsis speciosa Mill.   
Croatian name: Naočiti šupljozub
English name: Large Hemp Nettle    
Family: Lamiaceae
Annual, up to 1m high herbaceous plant. Can be found in woodland, prefers moist acid soil and semi-shade.
The stem is angular, swollen under nodes. All parts of the plant are covered with hairs.
Leaves are ovate, pointed, with dentate margins.

Calyx tubular, haired. Corolla 2.5 to 3 cm long,; yellow upper lips and violet lower lip. Side lips have three lobes with two horn-like projections. The flowers are clustered in whorls. Flowers from July to September.
Fruit: nutlet (single seeded).

NB. The plant is described as poisonous, has some use as medicinal plant. Oil derived from the seeds is used as leather polish.

Location: Lipik

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Spiranthes spiralis (L.) Chev.

Name: Spiranthes spiralis (L.) Chev.
Croatian name: Zasukica
English name: Autumn Lady's-tresses
Familia: Orchidaceae

I must admit I haven't seen this orchid anywhere in the nature before, although it is one of the orchid species belonging to the Croatian flora. I photographed this one on the lawn in my garden! I spotted it last year by mowing wondering where it came from! It is an interesting plant, probably rare and now my garden little treasure.
It is a long-lived perennial with a tuberous root. The lower leaves are oval.

The stem has no leaves. The main characteristic of this orchid is spiral inflorescence. It blooms in late August and September. The flowers are white and they open from the bottom to the top of the stem. They are pollinated mainly by bees and bumblebees.



The plant prefers well drained, alkaline soil.

Location: Lipik

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Campanula patula L.

Name: Campanula patula L.
Croatian name: Patuljasti zvončić
English name: Spreading Bellflower
Familia: Campanulaceae

This is biennial (rarely perennial) plant, up to 50 cm tall. It can be found on fields and meadows, mostly on deep, slightly acid soils.
Upright stems grow up from the thin roots, having lanceolate narrow upper leaves. Lower leaves are rounded.
Bell shaped flowers (violet to blue-violet, rarely white in colour) make panicles on the top of the stems. There are five partly fused pointed petals.


It flowers from may to August. Fruit is capsule containing numerous small seeds.

Location: Lipik

Arum maculatum L.

Name: Arum maculatum L.
Croatian name: Kozlac
English name: Lords and Ladies
Familia: Araceae

This is a common woodland plant that is widespread in temperate Europe. It is about 30 cm tall and grows from the oval shaped tuber. The leaves appear in April followed by inflorescence called a spadix. What appears to be a flower is a hood called spathe that hides the inflorescence. The flowers are clustered at the base of spadix. There is a ring of female flowers at the bottom and a ring of male flowers above them. The spathe forms a trap for the insects that pollinate the flowers. There is a ring of hairs above the male flowers. When an insect came in, it is trapped by hairs and dusted by pollen of the male flowers. When the hairs dry out, the insect is free to go out carrying the pollen to another plant and pollinating the female flowers. The insects are attracted by the smell of rotten meat.

The spathe

The spadix may be white in colour but it is usually purple. The leaves are arrow shaped with purple spots on it. Sometimes the spathe also has spots, but I noticed the specimens with no spots at all either on leaves or spathe.


Fruits are bright red shiny berries that remain on the spadix long after male flowers and spathe die out. They seem to be loved by birds, especially pheasants.

NB: The plant is poisonous.

Location: Lipik

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Ranunculus ficaria

Ranunculus ficaria L.

Name: Ranunculus ficaria L. (syn. Ficaria verna)
Croatian name: Zlatica, ledinjak
English name: Lesser Celandine
Family: Ranunculaceae

Low growing (5 - 15 cm) herbaceous perennial with fleshy roots. It flowers in March and April.
The leaves are shiny, dark green cordate or kidney-like.
Star like flowers have three sepals and mostly eight yellow, shiny petals. Stamens are numerous.

The plant grows in woods but also on every moist soil. It is a common weed in the gardens too.

NB. The plant is poisonous.

Location: Lipik

Anemone ranunculoides

Name: Anemone ranunculoides L.
Croatian name: Žuta šumarica
English name: Yellow Anemone
Family: Ranunculaceae

It grows in forests and bright bushes in early spring (March to May). It is herbaceous perennial plant, 5 - 15 cm tall.
Flowers are yellow. They have six to eight tepals and numerous stamens.
The leaves are three-lobed. They are actually bracts. True leaf grows directly from the rhizome. The plant dies back by mid-summer to the rhizome.
The rhizomes spread quite quickly just above the ground surface. So the plant makes carpets and cover great areas of woodland.
Fruit is achene.

Location: Lipik

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Anemone nemorosa L.

Name: Anemone nemorosa L.
Croatian name: Bijela šumarica
English name: Wood Anemone
Family: Ranunculaceae

An early-spring flowering herbaceous perennial plant. It grows in the woods making the carpets of plants. It is 15 to 25 cm tall, and grows from a rhizome. Each plant has one down to ground leaf. The leaves on the flower stem are three-lobed. The foliage die back by mid-summer. I have found some plants with purple-shaded leaves (see the picture).

The flower is white; has six petals and numerous stamens. The flower lack nectar and are primarily self-pollinated.
The fruit contains one seed that is spread by ants (zoochory).

NB. The plant is poisonous.

Location: Lipik

Asclepias syriaca

Name: Asclepias syriaca L.
Croatian name: Svilenica, Cigansko perje
English name: Common Milkweed, Silkweed
Family: Asclepiadaceae

This is a tall and robust perennial plant. It grows often in great number along on the river banks and fields, along the roads and wasteland. Loves sunny spots. It can be up to 2.5 m tall.
It spreads by rhizomes and can be very invasive. The whole plant contains a white latex. Leaves are set opposite on the stem. They are ovate having red main vein and smooth, velvety underside. Petiole is very short.
The flowers are grouped in umbels. The inflorescence is set axillary along the stem and on the top of the plant as well. The flower is small, reddish in colour. They have 5 petals. It flowers from May to July.


Fruit (follicle) splits open when dry releasing numerous silky-tailed seeds that disperse by the wind (anemochory).


Location: Lipik