Western Isles Wildflowers
Western Isles wildflowers is a collection of information about our Hebridean wildflowers including identification hints, traditional herbal uses and general plant lore.
The nodding heads of the flowers on the horizon in the photograph above are mostly those of ribwort plantain, this photograph was taken in early June on Reef machair. If you get down low on the machair at this time you can get an idea of the enormous profusion of this plantain in the islands, a plant which is so often overlooked.
A week later on the saltmarsh, the sea plantain does the same thing, only in that instance instead of ribwort plantain and daisies, the view is of sea plantain and thrift.
We get four of the five UK species of plantain growing in the Western Isles:
Sea plantain, ribwort plantain, buck's horn plantain and great plantain.
They are easy to tell apart.
Ribwort plantain has stongly ribbed leaves which are finger shaped.
Great plantain has big flat and wide egg-shaped leaves (ribbed)
Sea plantain has yellow flowers and long leaves, narrow like grass.
Buck's horn plantain has leaves that look like minature`antlers!
We have some other photographs of the ribwort plantain which are for identification purposes.
Ribwort plantain is a native wildflower of the Western Isles.
Photography © Suzanne Harris
Riof Machair - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
9th June, 2007