HEIGHT to 30cm Creeping, downy perennial of grassy places, heaths and moors. FLOWERS 7–11mm across, with 4 yellow petals; on slender stalks (May–Sep). FRUITS Dry, papery. LEAVES Unstalked, trifoliate but appear 5-lobed because of 2 large, leaflet-like stipules at the base. STATUS Widespread and often abundant. Trailing Tormentil P. anglica is similar but, like the next species, it roots at the nodes. Widespread but local.
HEIGHT to 50cm Hairy, hollow-stemmed perennial found in damp grassy places and fens. FLOWERS 15mm long, yellow; in heads on stalks to 15cm long (June–Aug). FRUITS Slender pods; splayed like a bird’s foot when ripe. LEAVES Comprising 5 dark green leaflets but appearing trifoliate (lower pair sited at stalk base). STATUS Locally common.
HEIGHT to 80cm Hairless, branched annual or biennial of dry, grassy places. FLOWERS In heads 15–25mm across, with yellow florets and 2 rows of bracts, the outer ones spreading; heads in branched clusters (June–Oct). FRUITS With a pappus of unbranched hairs. LEAVES Pinnate, upper ones with clasping, arrow-shaped bases. STATUS Common.
HEIGHT to 1m Hairless, poisonous biennial or short-lived perennial. Grows in grassland; thrives in grazed areas (animals avoid eating the living plant). Food plant of Cinnabar Moth larvae. FLOWERS Yellow, in heads 15–25mm across, carried in dense, flat-topped clusters (June–Nov). FRUITS Those of disc florets downy; ray floret fruits hairless. LEAVES Pinnate with a blunt end lobe. STATUS Common and widespread.
HEIGHT to 50cm Creeping perennial with upright, branched, woolly flowering stems. Grows in damp meadows and ditches on heavy soils. FLOWERS In heads 15–30mm across, with spreading yellow ray florets and deeper yellow, central disc florets; in open clusters (July–Sep). FRUITS Achenes with a hairy pappus. LEAVES Heart-shaped, clasping the stem; basal leaves soon wither. STATUS Common, except in Scotland.
HEIGHT to 50cm Often unwelcome perennial of lawns and other grassy places. Long, rooting runners aid its spread. FLOWERS 20–30mm across, with 5 yellow petals and upright sepals; on furrowed stalks (May–Aug). FRUITS In rounded heads. LEAVES Hairy; divided into 3 lobes; middle lobe is stalked. STATUS Widespread and common.
HEIGHT to 80cm Upright, hairless perennial of damp ground. FLOWERS 7–9mm across with 4 yellow petals; in terminal heads (May–Aug). FRUITS Long, narrow, 4-sided pods. LEAVES Dark green, shiny; lower ones divided, the end lobe large and oval; upper stem leaves entire. STATUS Widespread but commonest in the south.
HEIGHT to 45cm Attractive, hairy perennial with long, leafy runners and upright flowering stems. Grows in woodland rides and hedgerows, mainly on basic soils. FLOWERS 17–20mm long, rich yellow adorned with reddish streaks, the lip divided into 3 equal lobes; in whorls (Apr–June). FRUITS Nutlets. LEAVES Oval to triangular, toothed and similar to those of Common Nettle or White Dead-nettle . STATUS Locally common in England and Wales but scarce or absent elsewhere. Note, the subspecies argentatum has variegated leaves, is popular in gardens and is sometimes naturalised.
HEIGHT to 25cm Perennial of hedgerows and open woodland; sometimes forms patches. FLOWERS 20–30mm across with 8–12 shiny yellow petals and 3 sepals (Mar–May); opening only in sunshine. FRUITS In a rounded head. LEAVES Heart-shaped, glossy, dark green. STATUS Common.
HEIGHT to 20cm Low-growing annual. Similar to Hop Trefoil but hairless. Found in dry, grassy places. FLOWERS 3–4mm long, yellow; in compact, rounded heads, 8–9mm across (May–Oct). FRUITS Pods, cloaked by brown dead flowers in hop-like heads. LEAVES Trifoliate with oval leaflets. STATUS Widespread and common throughout the region.
HEIGHT to 20cm Greyish-green, mat-forming perennial of free-draining rocky ground and old walls. FLOWERS Star-shaped, yellow; in terminal clusters that nod in bud (June–Aug). FRUITS Dry, splitting. LEAVES Fleshy, pressed close to stem; terminal clusters on non-flowering shoots. STATUS Local in SW England; naturalised elsewhere.
HEIGHT to 2m Evergreen shrub with straight, grooved spines, 15–25mm long. Found on heaths and grassy places, mainly on acid soils. FLOWERS 2cm long, bright yellow, coconut-scented, with basal bracts 4–5mm long (Jan–Dec, but mainly Feb–May). FRUITS Hairy pods. LEAVES Trifoliate when young. STATUS Widespread and common throughout.