Summer flowers: what do they look like and when do they bloom?

Summer flowers: what do they look like and when do they bloom?
Flowers pop up all over the place during summer (Photo: Alan Mitchell/WTML)

The sun’s out and colourful summer wildflowers are springing up everywhere. Look out for these beauties blooming in clearings, on woodland edges and in hedgerows.

Dog rose

Dog rose
Look out for pinky-white dog roses (Photo: Shaun Nixon/WTML)

Pink or white flowers appear on this thorny climber in June and July. The sweet-scented blooms are full of nectar so are a magnet for flying insects such as bees and butterflies.

Did you know… in the past it was used as a treatment for the bite of a mad dog! That’s probably how it got its name

Foxglove

Foxglove
Foxgloves - a favourite flower for bees! (Photo: WTML)

The pink spikes of tube-shaped flowers appear from June to September. They’re very attractive to bees, which climb up the tube to drink the nectar.

Did you know… foxgloves are poisonous so don’t touch! But they’re also used to make medicines that treat heart disease.

Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle
Honeysuckle smells strongest at night (Photo: Web upload/WTML)

Honeysuckle blooms from June to September. Its gorgeous scent is especially strong at night to attract moths for pollination.

Did you know… dormice use honeysuckle bark to build their nests, and they like to eat the nectar-rich flowers.

Cow parsley

Cow parsley
Spot frothy cow parsley in the countryside (Photo: Christine Martin/WTML)

These white clusters appear from April until June, and are attractive to bees and hoverflies.

Did you know... it’s sometimes called Queen Anne’s lace, possibly because it decorated the roadsides in May, when the queen liked to go on her travels around the country.

Lily-of-the-valley

Lily of the valley
Can you smell the sweet scent of lily-of-the-valley? (Photo: FoeNyx/Wikimedia Commons)

You can find these little, white, bell-shaped flowers in May and June. They look a bit like wild garlic but you can easily tell them apart as lily-of-the-valley has a lovely, sweet fragrance while wild garlic is quite stinky! It’s poisonous though, so don’t touch!

Did you know… in the language of flowers, lily-of-the-valley is a symbol of good luck and happiness.

Oxeye daisy

Oxeye daisy
Oxeye daisies grow in gardens, meadows and by the roadside (Photo: northeastwildlife.co.uk)

These big white daisies flower all through the summer. The bright yellow centre is made up of lots of little flowers, each containing nectar, so it’s very popular with insects, including butterflies and bees.

Did you know… the flowers were sometimes used to make a tea that was good for coughs.

Red campion

Red campion
Spot red campion's bright pink flowers (Photo: northeastwildlife.co.uk)

This pretty, deep pink flower decorates woods and hedgerows from May to September. You’ll sometimes see a frothy stuff on the flowers – this helps it trap pollen from visiting insects.

Did you know… the crushed seeds of red campion have been used to treat snake bites.

Bugle

Bugle
Bugles bloom between April and July (Photo: northeastwildlife.co.uk)

These spiky plants covered in little blue flowers are in bloom from April to July. They’re a good food source for many types of butterfly.

Did you know… bugle is sometimes called ‘carpenter’s herb’ as it was supposed to be able to stop bleeding. Perhaps carpenters used it when they hammered a nail into their hand by mistake!

Travellers’ joy

Travellers' joy
Travellers' joy is also called 'old man's beard' (Photo: Steven Kind/WTML)

These clusters of white flowers can be seen scrambling over hedgerows from July to September. Once it’s finished flowering, the seed heads have lots of silky, white strands which give the plant its alternative name of ‘old man’s beard’.

Did you know… travellers’ joy is believed to be good for aches and pains, so maybe it got its name because people used it when they were stiff from travelling for miles.

What’s your favourite summer wildflower? Tell us about it and post your pictures on our Facebook page, or on Instagram or Twitter using #NatureDetectives.

Woodland Trust nature identification books
Woodland Trust mini ID books (Photo: WTML)

Grown-ups! Have you seen our fantastic mini ID books? They’re bursting with amazing photos and fab facts to help your Nature Detectives brush up their ID skills. Plus, they’re the perfect size for popping in your pocket!

There’s a book for every interest: flowers, fungi, minibeasts, leaves, butterflies – even animal poo!

You can find them for just £4.99 each on our shop. And if you can’t choose just one, you can get two or more for £4 each. Bargain!

What's your favourite summer flower?

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