There are around 1,600 species of wildflower in Britain and Ireland.
This page focuses on the wildflowers that Grow Wild distributes through our seed kits, or has distributed in the past.
These are a colourful and easy to grow mix of UK native-origin wildflowers. They’re researched and sourced by experts at the UK Native Seed Hub, which is part of Kew Science, in partnership with UK based seed suppliers.
Annuals, Perennials and Biennials
- ‘Annual’ flowers put on a show in their first summer and quickly produce seed, dying in the process. These seeds then grow into new plants the following year. And so it goes on.
- ‘Perennial’ flowers wait to burst into flower in their second summer - and carry on for many years.
- ‘Biennial’ flowers grow in their first year but don’t flower and produce seeds until their second year, although some occasionally defy convention by acting like annuals. After producing seeds, these plants usually die in the same way as an annual.
A-Z of Grow Wild wildflowers
Select an image to find out more about the wildflowers we have distributed in our seed kits in the past and hope to again in the future.
Agrimony, Agrimonia eupatoria
Agrimony is commonly found along roadsides, woodland edges, field edges and other well-drained grassy places. It has a long history of medicinal use, deriving its name from Argemone, a term used in ancient Greece to describe plants believed to beneficial to the eyes. The burred seed are exceptionally well-adapted to grip onto the fur of passing animals, like natural Velcro. This native herb grows in clusters of yellow flowers on slender spikes – hence its other name of 'Church Steeples'.
Autumn hawkbit, Scorzoneroides autumnalis
Dandelion-like golden-yellow flowers appear from rosettes of leaves from June to October. The seeds are long and brown, attached to a parachute consisting of a single row of hairs.
Betony, Betonica officinalis
The small clustered purple flowers and scalloped leaves of Betony are ideal for growing in damp, sunny or lightly shaded sites. It can sometimes be found growing in churchyards, where it was once believed to ward off evil spirits.
Bird's foot trefoil, Lotus corniculatus
A common meadow wild flower, the name refers to its elongated seedpods, each with a hook at the tip that looks like a bird’s foot. Its nectar provides a valuable food source for insects and is often grown by beekeepers.
Bladder campion, Silene vulgaris
Bladder campion is named for the inflated ‘bladder’ at the base of each flower. The white flowers are clove-scented at night, attracting long-tongued moths able to reach deep into the flower tube.
Burnet saxifrage, Pimpinella saxifraga
A small, delicate plant found in well-drained, grassy places. Common names can be confusing – the divided leaves and wiry stems look like salad burnet, but this plant is a member of the carrot family and, strictly speaking, is neither a burnet nor a saxifrage.
Common or lesser knapweed, Centaurea nigra
Thistle-like, vibrant-purple blooms, which reappear every year, once established. They provide a real burst of colour and attract bees and butterflies. Their seed heads provide food for birds.
Corn or common poppy, Papaver rhoeas
The classic poppy – vivid red with a near-black centre. It produces lots of seeds after flowering, which will germinate if the surrounding soil is disturbed. This means you may have poppies for years to come.
Corn chamomile, Anthemis arvensis
Also known as field chamomile, a mass of daisy-like white flowers with yellow centres appears on this plant from late May to September. The leaves, when crushed, give off a pleasant aroma.
Corncockle, Agrostemma githago
With attractive pinky purple flowers that are furled like a flag before they open, this hairy-stemmed wild flower is happy on most soils but grows best in a sunny, open spot.
Cornflower, Centaurea cyanus
Sow these seeds in sunny, well-drained soil and pretty bright-blue flower heads will appear on long stalks during midsummer. Look out for the common blue butterfly that feeds on its nectar.
Corn marigold, Glebionis segetum
Bold and bright, these yellow wildflowers pump out their sunny blooms for most of the summer. They look great in groups and produce a ready supply of nectar for pollinators.
Cowslip, Primula veris
It’s not the most elegant of plant names - thought to derive from the old English for cow dung - but its delicate nodding yellow flowers are still a welcome sight in open grassland, and increasingly on roadsides, where it's been reintroduced.
Crested dogs-tail, Cynosurus cristatus
A characteristic grass of flower-rich meadows, crested dogs-tail is tough enough to crowd out weeds whilst still allowing your flowers to grow. Although quite short-lived, the unusual flat flower heads release huge quantities of seeds each year to keep the display going.
Devil’s bit scabious, Succisa pratensis
According to folklore, the devil was furious at this plant’s powerful medicinal properties, and bit off the roots – hence the stubby rootstock. The violet-blue flowers look like a pincushion and provide a good source of nectar, particularly to the marsh fritillary butterfly.
Field scabious, Knautia arvensis
Dainty lilac pompom-like flowers bloom on tall stems between July and September, which are attractive to pollinating bees. Their stems are hairy and similar in texture to scabby skin.
Foxglove, Digitalis purpurea
If you try fitting one of these flowers over one of your fingertips, you’ll soon see why the scientific name of this cottage-garden favourite means ‘finger-like’. Its foliage can be deadly poisonous, but in controlled doses, can be used medicinally.
Garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolata
Typical of hedges and woodlands, garlic mustard enjoys damp, shady conditions. It flowers early, from April onwards, and has garlic-scented leaves and flowers.
Giant bellflower, Campanula latifolia
Tall spires of purple, bell-shaped flowers make an impressive display in damp woodlands, riversides, hedgerows and gardens.
Great mullein, Verbascum thapsus
Great mullein is unmistakable, with enormous yellow flower spikes growing up to two metres tall and setting vast quantities of seed. The large furry leaves are a feature too, providing food for caterpillars including the yellow and black-spotted mullein moth.
Greater stitchwort, Stellaria holostea
A pretty spring flower of country lanes and hedgerows, this species was once believed to cure stitches caused by too much exercise. Seed is dispersed with a noisy pop, giving it the alternative common name of ‘popgun’.
Hedge bedstraw, Galium album
Similar to Lady’s bedstraw, but bigger and tougher. The tiny white flowers that bloom on long stems from June to September develop into smooth black fruits after being pollinated by flies.
Hedge woundwort, Stachys sylvatica
A vigorous perennial, thriving in a range of conditions including damp, fertile and lightly shaded hedgerows and verges. The furry leaves have a pungent, astringent smell when crushed.
Imperforate St John's wort, Hypericum maculatum
A hairless square-stemmed plant with golden-yellow flowers, typically with five petals and black dots. It likes heavy, damp soils and is often seen in flower along roadsides and woodland edges between June and August.
Lady's bedstraw, Galium verum
A sprawling plant that will return every year. It produces golden-yellow flowers throughout summer, which provide food for hummingbird hawk-moths and elephant hawk-moths.
Meadow buttercup, Ranunculus acris
Pretty yellow buttercups gently sway on top of delicate stems. They really enjoy moist soil, although will put on some kind of show in most conditions.
Meadowsweet, Filipendula ulmaria
This moisture-loving plant puts on a display of fluffy-white flowers in high summer. It self-seeds if it’s in a plot it likes, meaning if you’re lucky it will increase year after year.
Musk Mallow, Malva moschata
The pale pink flowers and finely cut leaves of musk mallow make a beautiful display in rough grasslands and roadsides. The flowers are attractive to pollinators too, helped at night by the musky fragrance that gives the plant its name.
Nettle-leaved bellflower, Campanula trachelium
Large bell-shaped blue flowers make this a beautiful wildflower of hedgerows and woodland edges. The hairy leaves do resemble nettles, but they don’t sting!
Night-scented catchfly, Silene noctiflora
This sticky, hairy annual species was traditionally found amongst arable crops and in cultivated or disturbed ground. The flowers are tightly closed during the day, but open at night to release a strong scent and attract night-flying insects.
Oxeye daisy, Leucanthemum vulgare
Similar in appearance to the daisies you’d find in a lawn, although with bigger flowers and taller stems. Their white petals with yellow centres put on a show from June to August. They’re loved by pollinating insects.
Perforate St John's wort, Hypericum perforatum
This medicinal plant has round stems with two raised ridges and golden-yellow flowers that bloom from June to September. The ‘perforate’ name comes from the leaves, which have distinctive translucent glands which look like holes when held up to the light.
Primrose, Primula vulgaris
One of our earliest flowering wildflowers and a delightful sight in hedgerows and woodlands in spring. The pale yellow flowers are sweetly-scented, well worth getting on your hands and knees to enjoy!
Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria
Pollinated by long-tongued bees and butterflies and often found in bog gardens or pond margins. Candle-like spikes of pink to purple flowers appear on tall stems in midsummer.
Quaking grass, Briza media
This beautiful grass thrives in infertile and preferably dry soil. The purple-tinged flower heads hang on delicate wiry stems, ‘quaking’ gently in the breeze.
Ragged robin, Silene flos-cuculi
A close relative of common red campion, this species is distinguished by a profusion of ragged pink flowers. They enjoy damp sites, and are often found near ponds and streams.
Red campion, Silene dioica
The vivid pink flowers of this delicate plant really perk up the mix. It likes a bit of shade and moist soil, so you’re likely to see it thrive if your growing conditions offer this.
Red clover, Trifolium pratense
Less vigorous than its white cousin, red clover is a familiar wildflower of meadows and pastures everywhere. It is a rich provider of nectar and pollen, of particular value to our many native bumblebees.
Red dead-nettle, Lamium purpurea
This common and easily-grown annual is one of the first flowers to open in spring, providing nectar for bumble bees and other early-flying insects. The seed have a special adaptation to allow them to be picked up and carried by ants.
Ribwort plantain, Plantago lanceolata
Not the prettiest wild flower, but it’s great for wildlife. It can become a bit rampant, but it’s an important part of the UK’s grassland so worth nurturing.
Salad burnet, Poterium sanguisorba
A tough groundcover plant on infertile, chalky soils, salad burnet also grows well in gardens and pots. The leaves are cucumber-scented when crushed, with tiny deep-pink flowers held in dense drumsticks above the foliage.
Scentless mayweed, Tripleurospermum inodorum
This annual is typical of cultivated and disturbed ground, with cheerful white and yellow daisies in mid to late summer. Unlike other similar species, they produce no scent when crushed.
Selfheal, Prunella vulgaris
This purplish blue-flowered perennial was once an important therapeutic plant – its leaves were crushed and used to dress skin wounds and syrup made with the flowers and leaves was thought to cure sore throats.
Square-stalked St John’s wort, Hypericum tetrapterum
Also known as St Peter’s wort, this moisture-loving plant has distinctive winged square stems and pale-yellow five-petalled flowers that bloom from June to September.
Sweet vernal-grass, Anthoxanthum odoratum
One of the first grasses to flower in old meadows and pastures, sweet vernal grass contains high levels of vanilla-scented coumarin, giving freshly-cut hay its characteristic sweet smell.
Tansy, Tanecetum vulgare
Tansy is one native wildflowers that has long found a place in our gardens, with finely divided foliage, bright yellow flowers and a host of medicinal uses. The whole plant is powerfully aromatic when crushed, and although attractive to pollinators has traditionally been used as an insect repellent.
Tufted vetch, Vicia cracca
Showy violet-purple pea-like flowers appear on long stems that scramble through vegetation, using branched tendrils growing from the tips of its leaves. It’s particularly popular with bumblebees.
Upright hedge-parsley, Torillis japonica
Often mistaken for common cow parsley, upright hedge parsley flowers later in the summer and has more upright stems without dark blotches. The flowers are a magnet for pollinating insects, including hoverflies and small beetles.
Viper's-bugloss, Echium vulgare
This eye-catching, bristly-stemmed plant stands out on chalky grasslands and clifftops thanks to its vivid bright blue flowers, which bloom from June to September. It’s also a great food source for butterflies, bumblebees and honey bees.
White campion, Silene latifolia
This hairy and often sticky annual or short-lived perennial has white flowers, each with five deeply-notched petals. They can cross-pollinate with red campion to produce a beautiful pink hybrid.
White clover, Trifolium repens
A familiar sight in lawns, meadows and road verges, white clover provides a banquet of nectar for pollinating insects. It provides rich grazing for farm animals too, so has been sown by farmers for hundreds of years.
White dead-nettle, Lamium album
At first glance, this plant looks like a stinging nettle, but if it has large white flowers, the leaves won’t sting you. The nectar at the base of the tube-like flowers provides an important food source for bumblebees.
Wild basil, Clinopodium vulgare
A surprisingly tough herb, able to compete with vigorous plants in open grasslands, scrub, woodland edges, hedgerows and other places, usually on dry, chalky soil. Unlike culinary basil, which originates in southern Asia, our native plant is hairy with tiers of beautiful pink flowers around the stem. The leaves are pleasantly scented – whether they smell of basil is a matter of opinion!
Wild carrot, Daucus carota
The mostly off-white, flat, umbrella-like heads of flowers are pretty, but don’t expect a bumper crop from these. The roots smell of carrots but, unlike the cultivated ones, are thin, wiry and woody.
Wild marjoram, Origanum vulgare
Loved by butterflies, this popular kitchen herb has oval leaves and dark purple buds which burst in to clusters of sweet-smelling pink and purple flowers. Sow it in a well-drained, sunny spot.
Wild thyme / common thyme, Thymus polytrichus
Like the familiar culinary thyme, which hails from the Mediterranean, our native thyme is pungently scented and enjoys baking in hot, dry and sunny sites. The pink flower spikes are attractive too, and a magnet for pollinating insects.
Wood sage, Teucrium scorodonia
Wood sage enjoys lightly-shaded sites where its soft downy leaves can spread across the ground without too much disturbance. The leaves are slightly scented when crushed, with small spikes of yellow-green flowers in late summer.
Yarrow, Achillea millefolium
This hardy plant is found frequently in meadows, grasslands, along roadsides and among hedges. It has dark green, feathery leaves and clusters of delicate white flower heads which give off a strong perfume when in bloom – between June and August.
Yellow rattle, Rhinanthus minor
If you turn this unusual-looking yellow flower upside down, the upper lip looks like a nose, hence its name, ‘nose flower’ in Greek. The flower base later forms a capsule filled with loose, rattling seeds when ripe.