Friday, 15 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016 - Wildflowers 'M'

My theme this year is wild flowers. Most of us will be aware of the flowers that grow in our gardens but what surprises me is how few wild flowers that I know.

I pass them every day but rarely look at them. Well this year will be different - even if many of them may fall under the letter 'X' for unknown.

'M' - Mind-your-own-business, Mother of Thousands, Dog's Mercury

Some wild flowers are hard to see. One mat forming, evergreen plant with barely discernible tiny pink flowers gets its name because a probing finger will leave a permanent depression in its foliage, telling you to -

You have to look extremely hard to see the flowers here.

The plant, a nightmare if it gets into lawns and borders, will creep along pathways, banks, stone walls and even cracks in paving.

It also goes by the names of Mother of Thousands, Baby's Tears and Angel Tears.

Another plant with inconspicuous flowers is mercurialis perennis found in woodlands, especially under beech, oak or ash. Fortunately it has a common name too.

Dog's Mercury
Again you have to look hard to see the flowers which blend in with the leaves. There are separate male and female plants. Its strong, pungent smell attracts pollinating midges in March and April.

It's also highly poisonous - so it is named "dog's" mercury in the sense of "false" or "bad".


  • Dog's Mercury - 27 March 2005, Llandegfan, Wales, by Veleia - Public Domain
  • Mind-your-own-business - ex RHS website


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bob - interesting to see these tiny plants that convey more than appears ... and to read the lore ... I know them and see them ... lovely greens though - cheers Hilary

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

so--don't mistake it for mint and put it in your tea. Huh.

Zeljka Dekic said...

Interesting theme Bob! The first one looks very familiar I've must seen it before :) Best regards from Serbia!

Bish Denham said...

The dog's mercury looks like it might be in the mint family... Very similar leaves. Mind-your-own-business! What a great name. I suppose if you had a place that needed a ground cover and you didn't care where it spread it would be nice.

Susan A Eames said...

Hi, Bob, thought I'd pop along to see what you're blogging about during the A-Z Challenge. Wildflowers is a great theme... nice counterpoint to my wild animal theme! :)

Susan A Eames from
Travel, Fiction and Photos

Sarah Allan said...

What tiny flowers! I'm not sure I'd ever have noticed them.

Wendy said...

Love the humor of the names!

Jo said...

I wonder how many of these you knew before you started this blog Bob. I certainly was totally unaware of them.