Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Sanna's Summer Wildflowers

On a late summer walk at Sanna we found the dunes of the machair a mass of bluebells, Campanula rotundifolia, harebell to the English. The dune bluebells seem to have shorter stalks, and most are a washed-out blue, but they vary from almost white to a very pretty pale purple.

To appreciate the beauty of this little flower requires the help of a magnifying glass or macro lens on a camera.  It's eyebright, Euphrasia officialis, and it's everywhere.

Water mint, Mentha aquatica, is to be found growing in the damp ground just to the north of the car park, conveniently placed for those who have access to a leg off one of the many lambs that are running around.
The trouble with being purple is that so many other flowers at this time of year, particularly the heathers, are a similar colour, so the rarer species are likely to get overlooked.  We'd never identified this lovely little flower before.  It's autumn gentian, Gentiana amarella, and we only found it in a few places.

Not all the heathers are white.  This is a white variant of the normal, lilac ling which is having a very good year.  Looking closely, it's not quite white but has touches of colour.

On every walk we come across something we can't identify, and this is a good example.  Part of the trouble may be that it may not yet be in full flower, but perhaps someone could suggest a name.


  1. Possibly Bartsia alpina, but I'm not sure that is correct. Any other suggestions?

  2. Mystery flower ..pic 6.
    The flower is now over.... petals all gone. Left behind are the calyx, with seeds forming.
    Sorry cannot help with a name.
    Maybe a pic in full flower next year will give more clues.
    However, leaves not right for Bartsia alpine.

  3. I'd already made that connection: http://www.wildflowerfinder.org.uk/Flowers/B/Bartsia(Red)/Bartsia(Red).htm

  4. Jon, we stayed at Achosnich in August, we spotted gentian by the cattle grid at Portuairk. Carol & Terry.