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More Wild Flowers Found in Burnley Lancashire

Updated on April 20, 2012

Foxglove - Digitalis purpurea

I love the idea that the foxglove was named because the pattern inside the flower reminded people of fox paw prints, as though foxes were wearing them when out and about at night and then hanging them on the stalks during the day. There are other, more likely, hypotheses for how the foxglove got its name, but that is my favourite.

As well as being beautiful it has also provided us with Digitalis a drug for treating certain types of heart failure. It is toxic though, so you're strongly advised against attempting to self medicate with it!

The purple flower was photographed near Lower Rosegrove Road, Burnley. The white one was photographed on the moorland verge of Crown Point Road and whilst it could be a wild mutation, may be a garden escape as there is sometimes fly tipping along that verge.

Foxglove | Source
White Foxglove
White Foxglove | Source

Sneezewort - Achillea ptarmica

Sneezewort - the white flower in the picture below, is one I've never seen in any of the other counties I've lived in, but it is common on the moors around Burnley, because it likes acid soils. This one was by a path running through Dunnockshaw Community Woodland.

Smooth Hawksbeard - Crepis capillaris

Smooth Hawksbeard, the yellow flower in the picture, is one of the dandelion's relatives and I must admit to finding it confusing to distinguish between the catsears, hawkbits, hawksbeard, and hawkweeds. However, if you look closely in the picture, you can see that the smooth hawksbeard has leaves a bit like the common dandelion, but they are very narrow and a bit like several arrowheads laced nose to tail.

This one was by a path running through Dunnockshaw Community Woodland.

Smooth Hawksbeard and Sneezewort
Smooth Hawksbeard and Sneezewort | Source

Yellow Flag - Iris pseudacorus

Yellow flag is an Iris which loves a damp habitat or pond margin. This one was photographed along the margins of the Liverpool to Leeds canal between the Gannow tunnel, Burnley and Hapton.

Yellow Flag
Yellow Flag | Source

Oxeye Daisy - Leucanthemum vulgare

A straight forward flower which brings me a lot of pleasure. This oxeye daisy was photographed against a backdrop of canal water, because it was growing from a crevice leaning out towards the water. It was one of many growing by the Liverpool to Leeds canal where it runs through Burnley.

Oxeye Daisy
Oxeye Daisy | Source

Common Fleabane - Pulicaria dysenterica

Another yellow wild flower; this is a chunky flower with thick textural leaves. The flower's petals are comparatively short compared to the flower head size. Despite the name it isn't particularly common and I've only seen it in one area around Burnley. This one was growing beside a farm track leading from Billington Road, Burnley.

Fleabane | Source

Meadowsweet - Filipendula ulmaria

I love the billowy white flowers of the meadowsweet. It does live up to its name in terms of being sweet scented and enjoying a meadow or hedgerow habitat. This clump of meadowsweet was photographed in a treeless area of Dunnockshaw Community Woodland.

Meadowsweet | Source

Creeping Buttercup - Ranunculus repens

I can't see a buttercup without having a little chuckle to myself about a humorous monologue I heard Stephen Fry do once. The line in question went "I stooped to pick a buttercup - careless of people to leave their buttocks lying around!"

Although some members of the buttercup family are similar to each other, the creeping buttercup has courses leaves then the meadow buttercup (whose leaves are rather filigree) and the plant doesn't have the bulbous base of the bulbous buttercup.

I photographed this one in the meadow off Lower Rosegrove Lane, Burnley.

Creeping Buttercup
Creeping Buttercup | Source

Ivy-Leaved Toadflax - Cymbalaria muralis

Ivy-leaved toadflax isn't a British native, but it has naturalised around the country and unlike some of the thuggish and invasive 'alien' species, such as Himalayan Balsam, I haven't heard a bad word spoken about it. It grows in crevices on stone walls where you hardly feel it possible for a plant to be able to sustain itself. This one was growing on a wall along St Matthew Street, Burnley.

Ivy-leaved Toadflax
Ivy-leaved Toadflax | Source

Dandelion - Taraxacum Sect. Ruderalia

Yes, I know you can find them everywhere because they're one of the most common wild flowers, but that doesn't make them less deserving of a mention. I have seen a wonderful sight of a field packed with dandelions which all gone to seed at the same time. It was a still day and there were a million perfect dandelion clocks laid out before me. That day there was no other plant sight that I would rather have seen. Sadly I didn't have my camera with me. Instead the picture is of a single dandelion flower on the moor near Crown point Road, Burnley.

Dandelions are actually a more complicated group of flowers then we imagine - even 'Collins wildflowers of Britain and Europe' admits they are a difficult group with many subspecies.

I particularly like this dandelion verse, which is part of a poem called Nature Notes, by Louis Macneice:


Incorrigible, brash,

They brightened the cinder path of my childhood.

Unsubtle, the opposite of primroses

But unlike primroses, capable

Of growing anywhere, railway track, pierhead,

Like our extrovert friends who never

make us fall in love, yet fill

the primroseless roseless gaps

The Ubiquitous Dandelion
The Ubiquitous Dandelion | Source

Where and When to See Wild Flowers in Burnley

Preferred Habitat
Flowering Time
Where Found in Burnley
Amongst grass and on disturbed ground
Year round, but especially Apr - July
Ivy-leaved toadflax
Wall crevices
St Matthew Street, Spring Hill Road
Creeping Buttercup
Amongst grass or on disturbed Ground
Apr - Nov
Meadows off Lower Rosegrove Lane
Wet meadows, ditches, hedgerows
Dunnockshaw community woodland
Common fleabane
Damp meadows
Farm track off Billington Road
Oxeye daisy
Meadows, road verges
Canal towpath Liverpool-Leeds canal
Yellow Flag
Marshes, pond edges
Lower Rosegrove Lane, Canal towpath Liverpool-Leeds
Smooth Hawksbeard
Amongst grass and on disturbed ground
Dunnockshaw community woodland
Damp meadows on acid soil
Dunnockshaw community woodland
Woodland edges and glades, heath, hedgerows
Crown Point Road, Dunnockshaw community woodland


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    • Nettlemere profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      Thank you Aufait I'm pleased you liked the meadowsweet - I find it such an uplifting flower.

      Maggs - apologies for not having replied. It's nice to know you navigated the leeds - liverpool, so we will have enjoyed many of the same sights.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      6 years ago from North Texas

      Gorgeous photos. I like the foxgloves because of their structure and color, and the Meadowsweet looks exactly like the plum brush of my youth. It smelled wonderful too, and your description suggests it may smell just like our plum brush that grew wild. I always enjoy seeing the different flowers in other countries.

    • maggs224 profile image


      6 years ago from Sunny Spain

      What a delightful hub I have enjoyed reading it immensely and I thought that the photographs were lovely too.

      It made me a little homesick for England, especially when you spoke of the Leeds and Liverpool canal. We use to own a narrow boat and have travelled that canal many times.

      Thank you for writing this delightful hub and sharing it.

      Voting up and hitting buttons as I go :D

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I like this article. Your wildflowers make me want to go out and find some myself, and the buttercups remind me of rolling down hills covered with them as a child.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Goodness me, these wildflowers are so beautiful! WHY AM I SITTING IN FRONT OF A COMPUTER RIGHT NOW???

    • Dubuquedogtrainer profile image


      6 years ago from Dubuque, Iowa

      Very nice hub. Love all the flower pictures. Very good writing too! Voted up!

    • catsimmons profile image

      Catherine Simmons 

      6 years ago from Mission BC Canada

      Just lovely :-)

    • BRIAN SLATER profile image

      Brian Slater 

      6 years ago from England

      Hi, I've been waiting for this second hub on the flowers of Burnley and you haven't diasappointed. The photographs are excellent. My personal favourite if it's ok to have one is Sneezewort, I just love the shape of the leaves and the brilliant white petals. Voted up awesome :)

    • JKenny profile image

      James Kenny 

      6 years ago from Birmingham, England

      What a beautiful hub, many people, particularly those come to the garden centre detest plants like dandelions. But have you ever seen an entire field full of them, they are truly wonderful and more than a match for anything we create. Voted up and beautiful.

    • Nettlemere profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      Thank you everyone for expressing your appreciation and comments, it's lovely to be able to share the pleasure I get from wild flowers with you all.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      The photos are lovely of the wild flowers, I found some Ivy leaved toadflax on a walk the other day, I took photos but wasn't sure what they were, so you have identified it for me thank you!

      A very interesting hub and I enjoyed reading, Voted up and shared.

      best wishes lesley

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      6 years ago from South Carolina

      Welcome to Hub Pages,

      Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos and for this interesting article.

      I didn't realize there were so many subspecies of dandelions.

      Voted up, useful, beautiful, awesome and interesting.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Another excellent hub - great information, great pics and fun stories. I am sure we haven't got such a vast selection of wild flowers where I live but maybe I have been walking round with my eyes half closed. I am definitely going to be looking more carefully from now on.Thanks and voted up.

    • hush4444 profile image


      6 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful pictures and the great stories to go along with them. I love the story of the foxglove, too. We don't have many wildflowers where we live so I enjoyed seeing this snapshot of England. Voted up!

    • RTalloni profile image


      6 years ago from the short journey

      Yes, beautiful! Indeed, the dandelion is a shameless and persistent extrovert!

      Am glad to learn about toadflax--interesting. Thanks for a look at these wild flowers!

    • roxanne459 profile image

      Roxanne Lewis 

      6 years ago from Washington

      Those a beautiful flowers and it's super informative! My mom is a avid gardner, I can't wait to show her this. Voted up and Shared :)

    • Cre8tor profile image

      Dan Robbins 

      6 years ago

      What a beautiful hub! I just love your pictures and the table at the end is very useful. Voted up!


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