Wildflowers to look out for in September, include the mauve pincushions of Field Scabious (Knautia arvensis).
Interestingly ‘mauve’ is the French name for ‘mallow’. The dark pink flowers of Common Mallow (Malva sylvestris) can be found now along with the paler sweet scented Musk Mallow (Malva moschata) are blooming now too.
The scrambling purple blooms of Tufted Vetch (Vicia cracca) and the stiff upright stems of Common Knapweed (Centaurea nigra), will be setting seed now.
Look out for the bright yellow Hypericums, commonly known as St. John’s Wort and the repeat flowering Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus). White Dead-nettle (Lamium album), blue Chicory (Cichorium intybus) and Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus) can sometimes still be found providing pollen and nectar for insects.
September also brings the starry flowers of Michaelmas Daisy, which pops up on disturbed soil and is a great flower for feeding bees in the Autumn.
The yellow button-heads of Tansy, which belongs to the Aster family also might be providing some colour through the month and sometimes even into October.
Pink and white heather flowers, Cross-leaved heath (Erica tetralix) and Ling (Calluna vulgaris) often carpet wildlife-friendly habitats such as heaths and moors. Heather plants can often be bought at this time of year and popped into window boxes and borders to cheer us and the bees as we head into Winter.
Another brilliant wildflower which is a fantastic source of nectar for bees, butterflies and moths late in the year is Ivy.
Ivy, if left to mature will become covered in green flowers laden with yellow pollen, once pollinated these flowers turn into berries that feed the birds through the colder Winter months.
Keep your eyes peeled for other second flushes or late blooms on Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris), Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea), Wild Carrot (Daucus carota), Corn Marigold (Glebionis segetum), Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), Red Clover (Trifolium pratense), White clover (Trifolium repens), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Corn Chamomile (Anthemis austriaca), Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis), Borage (Borago officinalis), Meadow Cranesbill (Geranium pratense) and Wild Clary (Salvia verbenaca) !
What To Sow NOW!
September is a fabulous time to sow wildflower seeds, many including Poppy (Papaver rhoeas), Cowslip (Primula veris) and Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor) for example, require a cold spell to germinate and scattering in autumn replicates the conditions the seeds would naturally encounter growing in the wild.
Any of the Seedball wildflower mixes or single species can be sown from the end of August right up until the first frosts.