Nature Reserve Flowers

Our local Charlton Down Nature Reserve is a small space with about half of the area left untouched at this time of year. One grassy patch now has a multitude of flowers and looks very colourful and attractive. The general low cover of Yellow Rattle is dying back with their characteristic seed pods forming; and taller flowers such as Knapweed, Oxeye Daisy, Wild Marjoram, Birds-foot Trefoil, and Ladies Bedstraw are flowering, mostly behind an outer border of tall grasses, dock, and umbelliferous plants.

Rowan Trees

There are three young and thriving Rowan trees in the Charlton Down Nature Reserve. They are also called Mountain Ash (Sorbus aucuparia). They looked particularly attractive the other evening with their heavy load of creamy white blooms So many small flowers arranged into generous clusters to entice bees and insects. The trees should also provide a plentiful supply of berries for the birds in autumn. We had one of these rowans in our suburban front garden when I was a child. My mother used to recount the panic she felt when she parked my pram in the shade of the tree and later discovered me eating the berries. I was rushed to the doctor but there was no problem, the berries are edible, and sometimes made into jelly but are very sour.


Here is a bouquet of Bogbean flowers (Menyanthes trifoliata), a creeping aquatic perennial found in shallow water as well as damp peaty soil in marshes, fens, and bogs. In this case, found in the Charlton Down Nature Reserve pond. They are not so prolific this year because their habitat is under threat. At the moment there are only a three flowering stems, and they are late to bloom anyway because of the cold spring – so most of these photos were taken last year on 13 May. The white star-shaped flowers have highly unusual fringed petals.

CD Nature Reserve 1

Some views of the Charlton Down Nature Reserve yesterday evening when the sun was still bright and warm and the light brought out all the colours.