|One of the trails at Bovingdon Brickworks|
And....then you spot the first blooms of Common Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris). It may well be a common plant of “waste grounds, grasslands, roadside verges and hedgerows”, but it’s bright, sunny and delicious to behold. It’s common name of “Butter and Eggs” is no accident. It’s all yellows and oranges and frilly and interesting. You can’t help but take a closer look.
As the days shorten and the trees lose their leaves, these hardy bloomers may well go on flowering right through November. For the herbalists amongst us, if you happen to be bloated or constipated, this yella fella is right up your street. It has strong laxative and diuretic properties, as well as containing painkilling and anti-inflammatory effects to help heal wounds (not that I’m advocating Toadflax stew or the like, you understand). Yes, it’s common, but at the right time, in the right place, it can feel like you’ve stumbled upon trumpets of autumn sunshine.