In August 2015, the Wildflowerhour initiative was started on Twitter, with the aim of allowing people to share pictures of flowering wild plants growing in the UK. Every Sunday between 8 and 9pm, Twitter users and invited to post pictures of plants they have seen growing during the week, using the #wildflowerhour hashtag. People can also ask for identification help through the #wildflowerID hashtag.
The Wildflowerhour team also organises “challenges“, which require plant enthusiasts to find pictures of specific flowers. I was very pleased to see last week’s challenge, on #pavementplants. A fitting theme for @morethanweeds! Some of the #wildflowerhour keen tweeters found dozens of plants flowering on the pavements of villages, towns and cities.
Here are a few of the pavement plants that were posted on Twitter during the challenge. At this time of the year, small annuals such as Hairy Bittercress, Chickweed, dainty Whitlow Grass or Danish Scurvygrass are a common sight.
Typical urban plants that flower all year round such as Groundsel or Fleabane were also observed by #wildflowerhour enthusiasts:
More surprising perhaps were these carpets of Winter Purslane/Miners Lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata), an edible plant native to North America, introduced to the UK in 1794, or Greater Celandine, more commonly found in gardens.
There were some rather showy submissions too, such as fern-leaved Corydalis, a Chinese plant that has naturalised in urban areas, or ivy-leaved toadflax (Cymbalaria muralis).
I love seeing your pictures of “weeds” from around Britain and Ireland, so even if the #wildflowerhour challenge is now over, please feel free to tweet your pictures of plants growing on walls, in pavement cracks and in gutters, using #morethanweeds! Here’s a rather cute Rue-leaved Saxifrage to encourage you all to explore these overlooked spaces…