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Are these plants native to Britain?

Guernsey Donkey2Guernsey Donkey2 Posts: 6,713
I have Knapweed, Ox-eye daisy, Dead Nettle, Nigella and Phacella growing in my wild patch>  Are they native plants?


  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 5,538
    'native' can be hard to pin down. Assuming very common and of unknown introduction:

    knapweed - probably. Both 'greater' and 'common' knapweed are widespread. There is a 'brown' one that is only found if 'introduced'
    ox-eye daisy - yes
    dead nettle - the short red flowered one, yes. Taller ones with variegated or blotched leaves, garden plants escaped. There is a taller, plain leaved, white flowered one which would probably be considered native but may not be truly so.
    nigella - no. Southern European introduction
    phacelia - no. I think it's American
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,562
    edited May 2019
    During the Ice Age most of what i snow Britain was covered in Ice and the rest was too very cold to grow very much.  That was just 17000 years ago, a blink in evolutionary time.  That makes for a teeny pool of truly native plants.   

    Since then, plants have come in as people migrated and brought or unwittingly carried plants with them on their feet, clothes, animals plus what came by wind or birds.   Where do you want to draw the native line?    Clearly anything from the Americas or Australasia can be excluded but now we know how much prehistoric man moved about and crossed the Alps to get to Stonehenge and traded with the Phoenicians and further afield I reckon anything of Eurasian origins could be classed as native unless we know of it being introduced in recent centuries by plant hunters and traders from say Tradescant onwards.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • B3B3 Posts: 21,437
    GD arent you nearer to France?😉  
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Guernsey Donkey2Guernsey Donkey2 Posts: 6,713
    I have tried to keep the meadow to just English native plants, but have sneaked in some Nigella Knapweed and the Phacelia just re-seeded from a past mixed seed sowing.  The Dead Nettle seemed to arrive by accident - just the one flower so far. Thanks.
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