Sunday, 10 July 2011

Geum urbanum L.

Latin name: Geum urbanum L.
Familia: Rosaceae
Croatian name: Zečja stopa
English name: Herb Bennet

A hairy perennial, 60 cm high, with toothed pinnate root-leaves, 3-fingered stem-leaves, and roundish leaf-like stipules at their base. Flowers small, yellow, with gap between the five spreading petals which are no longer than down-turned sepals. Fruits hooked, in a bur-like head. Flowers from June onwards.
In woodland and hedge-banks.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Orchis morio L.

Image credit: Danijel Balaško (white form)

Latin name: Orchis morio L.
Familia: Orchidaceae
Croatian name: Mali kaćun
English name: Green-winged meadow orchid

Up to 40 cm high perennial, with two egg-shaped tubers, round stem and a few basal leaves. The spike bears several flowers that vary in colour from rare white or purple to more common purple. Sepals form a hood instead of spreading. Leaves never spotted. Flowers very short-spurred, the lip 4-lobed, and no tooth in the acute angle between the broad lover lobes.

purple flowers

Ophrys sphegoides Mill.

image credit: Danijel Balaško

Latin name: Ophrys sphegoides Mill.
Familia: orchidaceae
Croatian name: Kokica paučica
English name: Spider orchid

A perennial plant, with round tubers, up to 30 cm high. Stem bearing 3 -6 ground leaves, 2 - 4 upper leaves and a terminal spike of 2 - 9 greenish to brown flowers. No appendage at the tip of dark brown lip, which is marked in the form of Greek pi.
Yet another endangered species of orchids in Croatia,  it is under special protection.
Can be found on sunny spots in grass land or woods on chalk and lime.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Himantoglossum hircinum (L.) Sprengel

Latin name: Himantoglossum hircinum (L.) Sprengel
syn. Orchis hircina (L.) Crantz
Familia: Orchidaceae
Croatian name: Kozonoška
English name: Lizard orchid

This orchid is a singular rarity. The plant is up to 60 cm high, its spike of fancifully lizard-like flowers often merge into the surrounding herbage. It has a few stem leaves, which soon wither, and a stout spike of short-spurred, purplish grey-green flowers, with hooded sepals. 
It is still rare in turfs on chalk and limestone. Flowers in June to July.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Equisetum arvense L

latin name: Equisetum arvense L.
Family: Equisetaceae
Croatian name: Poljska preslica
English name: Common horsetail

Common on dry places. Up to 30 cm high, erect plant with separate fertile and barren stems.  Fertile stems appear before the barren ones; pale brown, unbranched, with 4-6 loose sheaths and 6-12 dark teeth. Barren stems green, roughish; furrows 6-19, central hollow less than half the width.
Widespread in rough bare and cultivated places.

fertile stems on railway

Lysimachia nummularia L.

Latin name: Lysimachia nummularia L.
Familia: Primulaceae
Croatian name: Protivak
English name: Creeping Jenny

Creeping plant with yellow flowers and blunt, round opposite leaves. The pale green stems and leaves are hairless. Flowers solitary in the leaf axis. It spreads itself rapidly on moist woody places.   
It is also used in horticulture as the ground cover.

Symphytum tuberosum L

Latin name: Symphytum tuberosum L.
Familia: Boraginaceae
Croatian name: Čvorasti gavez
English name: Tuberous comfrey

A perennial plant that grows from tuberous rhizomes by which it spreads itself and colonize the ground. Both, leaves and stems are hairy and rough to touch. The tubular, bell shaped flowers are creamy yellow in colour; calyx with pointed teeth three times long as the tube. Common in woodland shady places. Flowers in April.

Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medik.

Latin name: Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medik.
Familia: Brassicaceae
Croatian name: Pastireva torbica
English name: Sheperd's purse

The commonest small white crucifier, with distinctive triangular seed capsules, flattened and notched. The plant is annual that forms a rosette of lobed leaves at the base. Stem leaves narrow, less toothed than rosette leaves, clasping the stem.
The white flowers in loose racemes along the upper part of the stem. Common on wasteland and abundant weed on cultivated land.

image: Wikipedia

Anthyllis vulneraria L.

image credit: Danijel Balaško

Latin name: Anthyillis vulneraria L.
Familia: Fabaceae
Croatian name: Ranjenik
English name: Kidney vetch, Woundworth

A silky, often greyish perennial, prostrate or up to 30 cm high, with undivided elliptical root-leaves, pinnate stem leaves, and yellow flowers in crowded beards. Calyx swollen, cotton-woolly below.
Common in dry grassy places, especially on chalk and limestone. It flowers May onwards.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Cymbalaria muralis G. gaert. ...

Latin name: Cymbalaria muralis G. Gaertn, B. Mey & Schreb.
syn. Linaria cymbalaria (L.) Mill.
Familia: Scrophulariaceae
Croatian name: Zidni lanilist, Klobučić
English name: Ivy-leaved Toadflax

A trailing hairless perennial, often tinged purplish, with small solitary lilac short-spurred flowers. Flowers have a yellow honey-guide on the lower lip, on long stalks at the base of roughly ivy-shaped, mostly alternate, long-stalked leaves.
Common on walls. Fruit curving downwards into crannies. The flowers became negatively fototropic after fertilization and move into dark crevices of rock or wall holes where the seeds germinates.

Convolvulus arvensis L.

Latin name: Convolvulus arvensis L.
Familia: Convolvulaceae
Croatian name: Poljski slak
English name: Field Bindweed

An attractive perennial plant, prostrate or twining anti-clockwise, up to 70 cm long, with arrow shaped leaves. Flowers white or pink, funnel-shaped, 1-3 together with a pair of tiny bracts well below their stalks. Widespread on fields and wasteland; an annoying weed in the gardens and cultivated land.

Scopolia carniolica Jacq.

Image credit: Danijel Balaško

Latin name: Scopolia carniolica Jacq.
Familia: Solanaceae
Croatian name: Bijeli bun
English name: Henbane Bell

Perennial plant, with bell-like purplish-brown flowers and light green leaves. It grows in wet parts of wood and forest. 
Like many species of the Solanaceae family, it is poisonous.

Asperula taurina L.

Latin name: Asperula taurina L.
Familia: Rubiaceae
Croatian name: Torinska lazarkinja
English name: Woodruff

Erect perennial plant, up to 50 cm high. Leaves in whorls of four. Flowers white, clustered on top of the stem.
Common in moist woods.

Galium mollugo L.

Latin name: Gallium molugo L.
Familia: Rubiaceae
Croatian name: Livadna broćika
English name: Hedge Bedstraw

A floppy, scrambling perennial, with smooth square stems. Up to 1 m high, markedly swollen at the whorls of 6-8 one-veined leaves. Flowers white, small, in terminal clusters. 
Widespread and common in grassland and meadows.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Chelidonium maialis

Latin name: Chelidonium majus L.
Familia: Papaveraceae
Croatian name: Rosopas
English name: Greater Celandine

A rather greyish, sparsely hairy, bushy and errect perennial, up to 120 cm high. Leaves thin, irregularly pinnate. Flowers yellow. Fruits are long capsules bearing seeds with an elaiosome which attach to an ant dispersing them this way.
Common on walls and hedge-banks.

Cornus sanguinea L.

Latin name: Cornus sanguinea L.
Familia: Cornaceae
Croatian name: Svib
English name: Common Dogwood

Medium to large, deciduous shrub, up to 6 m high. Leaves opposite, ovate with entire margins. Flowers white; four petals. Common in wild hedges, woods and thickets, especially on chalk and lime.
Fruit is a black berry.

Galium verum L.

Latin name:  Galium verum L.
Familia: Rubiaceae
Croatian name: Proljetna broćika
English name: Yellow Bedstraw, Lady's Bedstraw

A more or less sprawling, usually hairless perennial, smelling of new-mown hay. Leaves in whorls of 8 -12 linear leaves with one vein. Flowers small, bright golden-yellow;
Grows on dry grassy places, meadows.

Galium aparine L.

Latin name: Galium aparine L.
Familia: Rubiaceae
Croatian name: Ljepljiva bročika
English name: Catchweed, Stickyjack

A herbaceous annual, with long hook tipped hairs on stems and leaves that cling to clothes or animals. The leaves are arranged in whorls of six or eight. The flowers are really tiny, white and have four petals.
Common weed in hedges that grows very quickly and shade out the other vegetation.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Geranium robertianum L.

Latin name: Geranium robertianum L.
Familia: Geraniaceae
Croatian name: Pastirska iglica
English name: Herb Robert

A hairy, rather strong-smelling annual, up to 40 cm high. Leaves triangular, fern-like, divided into 3 - 5 pinnately lobed segments. Flowers pink, 5 petals, 10 stamens; ovary has five styles grown together into a long spike.
Widespread  in a light shade in woods and bushes, also on walls and rocks.

Plant is used as herb.

Alopecurus pratensis L.

Latin name: Alopecurus pratensis L.
Familia: Poaceae
Croatian name: Mišji repak
English name: Meadow Foxtail

A hairless, tufted perennial, up to 120 cm high. Leaves roughish, long and narrow, blunt ligules. Flower spike unbranched, long, cylindrical, smooth and silky to touch. There is no upper corolla scale (palea superior) in the flower.
It is a common species on moist grassland and meadows. 

Lathyrus vernus (L.) Bernhardt

Latin name: Lathyrus vernus (L.) Berndhart
Familia: Fabaceae
Croatian name: Proljetna graholika
English name: Spring Pea, Spring Vetchling

Herbaceous perennial, up to 50 cm high bushy plant. Angled stem bears long pointed leaves and pink to violet flowers in clusters. It flowers in March and April. The fruit, about 5 cm long pod, bears several seeds. It can be found in woods, on lime rich soils.

Galium cruciata (L.) Scop.

Latin name: Galium cruciata  (L.) Scop.
Familia: Rubiaceae
Croatian name: Četverolisna broćika
English name: Crossworth

It is a common yellow Bedstraw with one-veined leaves. It is hairy, herbaceous perennial, 30 to 50 cm high, smelling of new-mown hay. The four leaves have three veins and are placed on stem in whorls, making a cross. Flowers small, yellow, with four petals, placed in whorls of the leaves.  
The plant grows in grassy places, and flowers in May and June.

Listera ovata (L.) R. Br.

Latin name: Listera ovata (L.)  R. Br.
Familia: Orchidaceae
Croatian name: Čopotac jajoliki
English name: Common Twayblade

An orchid up to 60 cm high, with distinctive single pair of broad oval, opposite unstalked leaves, low down on the stem. A long spike bears greenish flowers, with a narrow forked, down-turned unspurred lip.
It grows in woods and open grassy places form May to July.

Cephalanthera longifolia (L.) Fritsch

Latin name: Cephalanthera longifolia (L.) Fritsch
Familia: Orchidaceae
Croatian name: Dugolisna naglavica
English name: Narrow-leaved Helleborine

This graceful orchid has a narrow slender leaves and white flowers. It is a perennial plant growing from a rhizome. The leaves may be up to 15 cm long (hence the name "longifolia") and are placed all along the stem.
The flowers have pointed sepals 10-15 mm long arranged in a long inflorescence. Flowering time: May to July.
It grows in woods.

Lathraea squamaria L.

Latin name: Lathraea squamaria L.
Familia: Orobanchaceae
Croatian name: Potajnica
English name: Common Toothwort

A low, unbranched, slightly hairy pink perennial. It is usually 20 cm high, with no leaves but broad scales (squamae) up the stem. It grows in clumps as a parasite on the roots of various shrubs and trees, especially Hazel.
Flowers are set on short stalks, two-lipped, pink, drooping in a one-sided spike. Fruits are egg-shaped. It can be found in woods and hedges in April and May.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Corydalis bulbosa (L.) DC

Name: Corydalis bulbosa (L.) DC
syn. Corydalis cava L.
Familia: Fumariaceae
Croatian name: Šupaljka
English name: Hollowroot

A perennial plant, up to 40 cm tall. It grows from the bulb-like root that became hollow when older - hence the name "cava" - hollow.
The flowers are zygomorphic, usually lilac coloured but can be also white. The flowers are gathered into raceme. The fruit is capsula containing black, shiny seeds with an attachment - elaiosome, that serves as nutrient reservoir.

image credit:

The plant is poisonous.

Cardamine bulbifera (L.) Crantz

Name: Cardamine bulbifera (L.) Crantz
syn. Dentaria bulbifera 
Familia: Brassicaceae
Croatian name: Živorodna režuha
English name: Coralroot

This is a herbaceous perennial plant growing from a scaly rhizome. Round erect stem can be up to 70 cm tall. The leaves are alternate, pinnate with uneven margins. The flowers are pale lilac in colour, having four petals. The flowers are gathered on the tip of the stems making a raceme. The plant reproduce itself also in a vegetative way by means of small bud (bulbila) placed at the base of the leaf.
The fruit is siliqua. It likes moist, fertile woodland soil.

Symphytum officinale L.

Name: Symphytum officinale L.
Familia: Boraginaceae
Croatian name: Gavez, Crni korijen
English name: Comfrey

This is the perennial plant with a black, turnip-like root and hairy, rough and prickly stems and leaves. The plant grows quickly and can be up to 1 m tall. The flowers are tubular (five grown-together petals), blue-violet in colour, forming a curl (cincinnus) on the end of the flower stalks. 

It likes dump, fertile soil.
It is well known herb and medicinal plant, though it's use is suspicious and should be used with care.

Image credit:

Lamium album L.

Name: Lamium album L.
Familia: Lamiaceae
Croatian name: Bijela mrtva kopriva
English name: White Dead Nettle

This plant is native to Europe and Western Asia growing in variety of habitats form woodland to open grassland, but always on moist, but well drained and fertile soils.
It is herbaceous perennial plant, up to 100 cm tall, with four angled stems and triangular serrate leaves. The plant is covered with hairs but they do not sting.
White flowers are produced on the upper part of the stems and are arranged in whorls. Nectar at the base of tubular flowers is reachable only to bumblebees and  other long-tongued insects.

Image credit:

Mechanical tissue (collenchyma) in the very corner of the four angled stem gives it the sturdiness. Closer to the centre you can see vascular tissue. 

Caltha palustris L.

Name: Caltha palustris L.
Familia: Ranunculaceae
Croatian name: Kaljužnica
English name: Marsh marigold, Kingcup

This plant loves marshes and wetland and grows in abundance on the stream sides, often in a shallow waters. It is herbaceous perennial plant, with bright yellow flowers and round to kidney like leaves. As is often grows in a large groups it looks quite stunning when in full bloom. That is probably the reason why it is also a popular garden plant with cultivars with double flowers.
The flowers usually have five petals and are about 4 cm in diameter. Carpels form into follicles bearing seeds.

carpels forming follicles

Caltha is highly polymorphic species, and it is divided in several subspecies. The plant is poisonous and  may cause skin irritations and rushes.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Chrysosplenium alternifolium L.

Name: Chrysosplenium alternifolium L.
Familia: Saxifragaceae
Croatian name: Žutina
English name: Golden saxifrage

A perennial plant, with kidney-shaped leaves. It can be found in woods in shade, growing on moist ground. Stems are triangular, somewhat hairy, 5 - 15 cm high. Alternate, green to golden yellow leaves are spirally arranged on stem.
Flowers have no petals. There are four tiny sepals and eight stamens.
The plant is flowering from March  to May.

Eranthis hyemalis (L.) Salisb.

Name: Eranthis hyemalis (L.) Salisb.
Familia: Ranunculaceae
Croatian name: Ozimica
English name: Winter Aconite

Perennial plant that grows from the rhizome. It appears in early Spring in woodlands often carpeting the ground. Plant is usually 5 - 10 cm high, with palmate glossy leaves appearing after the chalice-shaped flowers. The yellow flower has a sepal-like frill or ruff. Fruit is follicle.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Allium ursinum L.

Name: Allium ursinum L.
Familia: Liliaceae
Croatian name: Medvjeđi luk, srijemuš, crijemuš
English name: Ramsons

Perennial plant that grows from a oval, 2-6 cm long bulb. The plant appears in Spring in woods, mostly on moist, rich humus ground often in a very large number. It flowers from April to June. it is native to Europe and western Asia. 
There are usually two long ovate leaves that come from the bulb, and one stem bearing the group of white flowers. Fruit is capsulla bearing several black seed. the whole plant has a scent characteristic to onion family.

Image credit: Danijel Balaško

The plant is edible. It is used as medicinal plant: diuretic, antiseptic, skin cure;

Daphne mezereum L.

Daphne mezereum L.
Familia: Thymelaeaceae
Croatian name: Obični likovac
English name: Mezereon, Dwarf bay

This is a small deciduous bush, up to 1.5 m tall, native to Europe and Western Asia. It grows in woodlans on lime rich soils. The leaves are pale green and soft, 3 - 8 cm long, spirally arranged on the tips of the stems. Flowers are pink, scented and sessile (no flower stem). They appear in early Spring before the leaves.
Fruit is red berry.

image: caliban

The whole plant is poisonous.