Wild Flowers in November

I feel I should write shorter, more conversational posts. My adventures may not be epic, but my blogs tend to be. Thank you, anyone who’s stuck with them. Writing is for rainy days and, in line with Parkinson’s Law, tends to expand with persistence of precipitation. Sorry about that.

brancaster wild flowers sand dunes norfolk

Sea Rocket Cakile maritima

I’ve also been told that if I want anyone to see my blogs, they need to have lame, obvious titles so they can be presented to potential readers by some omnicrawling googleblaster panroboticon thingy. If I’d had my way I’d have entitled this post Post-equinoctial Botanising and Social Media – Diminishing Returns, or Why I’m Keeping Groundsel Up My Sleeve.

hardheads wild flower norfolk

Common Knapweed Centaurea nigra

November isn’t always the most appealing month in which to be outdoors in England. Nonetheless one thing that is getting me out of the house at the moment is a sudden feverish interest in spotting wild flowers. This has come about because over on Twitter the account @wildflower_hour (which I suspect may be something to do with BSBI) has been running a little game called #thewinter10. During Wild Flower Hour (Sunday, 20.00 – 21.00 GMT) you’re supposed to post under that hashtag pictures of ten wild flowers you’ve found in flower during the preceding week.

novemeber wild flowers in norfolk england

White Dead-nettle Lamium album

Part of the fun is that of course it gets harder each week. So far, though, I’ve been surprised and pleased by some of my finds.

norfolk wild flowers in winter

Small-flowered Cranes-bill Geranium pusillum

Most of the wild flowers remaining by the third week of November are tatty, miserable-looking rags of things, hanging on against the odds in out of the way corners. I feel a certain affinity with them. Now and then, though, in a sheltered spot one comes across a bit of unexpected glamour.

norfolk wild flowers in November

Field Scabious Knautia arvensis

I give the scientific names of plants in my blogs, when I can work them out, not to be flash (I just pinch them off Wikipedia) but for the benefit of readers in other countries. The vernacular names of wild plants and animals vary a lot even between English-speaking countries, and once you introduce other languages it gets still more confusing. I learnt this, among many other less useful things, when I was a grad student in ornithology working with colleagues from all over the world. A trivial example – a Great Tit in German is a Kohl Tit (Kohlmeise), while a Coal Tit is a Pine Tit (Tannenmeise).

blackberry plant in flower norfolk england

Bramble Rubus fruticosus agg.

Even if you’ve more pressing reasons than pressing flowers to be outdoors, it’s worth keeping your eyes peeled for a bit of casual botany. Right into the depths of winter, you never know what will pop up. Maybe we’ll all pop up on Twitter during Wild Flower Hour? Say hello.

norfolk wild flowers in autumn

Red Campion Silene dioica

There, I can do chatty little blogs with the best of them and if that’s what you’d like to read I’ll be pleased to hear it. Apart from anything else, it would save me the bother of having any more modest adventures. I’d also like to mention, in response to kind advice received, that I’ve just written an entire blog without a single adverb. Amazingly.

I’m keeping Groundsel (Senecio vulgaris) up my sleeve, to coin a phrase, because it flowers pretty much all year and so could come in jolly handy…


  1. Kindred Spirit – my posts have boring titles, I’m hoping the featured photos make up for them. And occasionally I do a list of winter flowers – just haven’t got around to it recently. Must look-up that winter 10 thing.


    1. Thanks Annie. I bet now I’ve blogged about it I won’t be able to find ten flowers this week! bw A


      1. Blame it on the season getting colder – and anyway, if you’re not a dedicated botanist, why would you get obsessed by it? I look at the ground to see where I’m putting my feet, and if a flower happens to be there, I’ll just enjoy seeing it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yup, there are still flowers blooming in November, I never miss them in pictures. And I love the word “thingy” in the second paragraph. It reminded me of my daughter when she was in primary school, I heard that so many times when she explained something, was like “ooh mummy, don’t you remember that thingy,” and poor me, trying to find out what she really is telling mummy. One day I asked other mothers about “thingy”, they all laugh, and said, just get used to “thingy,” they all talk thingy at this age haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading my blog thingy 😉 Yes November’s a good time to get your eye in, now in March I’m seeing flowers everywhere already.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. what a laugh on for a Saturday afternoon with that “thingy” haha – yes Spring is the big thought in everyone’s mind. Daffodils are already in, the start of Spriiiinnng thingy!

        Liked by 1 person

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