Brown Mottlegill

Brown Mottlegill

Panaeolina foeniseci ■ Bugyi, Hungary ■ A common and widespread mushroom that often shows up on mown lawns and fields. It is not edible, apparently having enough alkaloids to make you sick if eaten.

Shaggy Parasol

Shaggy Parasol

Chlorophylum brunneum ■ Badacsonytomaj, Hungary ■ This large mushroom is supposed to be edible but it looks so much like the poisonous Amanita genus that I wasn’t going to risk it.

Common Fleabane

Common Fleabane

Pulicaria dysenterica ■ Kiskunlacháza, Hungary ■ A common aster native to Europe and western Asia but widely naturalized in other parts of the world. At one time it was used as a treatment for dysentry, hence the specific epithet.

Mica Cap

Mica Cap

Coprinellus micaceus ■ Bugyi, Hungary ■ A relatively common mushroom with cosmopolitan distribution. Not so great for eating but popular for lab studies because it is so easy to grow. It gets its common name from the glittery specks along the edge of the cap which resemble flecks of mica.

Autumn Crocus

Autumn Crocus

Colchicum autumnale ■ Zámoly, Hungary ■ One of the most beautiful fall wildflowers in Central Europe. Beautiful and deadly poisonous. It is not a true crocus even though the flowers bear a resemblance to the crocuses.

Spreading Bellflower

Spreading Bellflower

Campanula patula ■ Kunpeszér, Hungary ■ A herbaceous biennial native to Europe but naturalized in other parts of the world. It often grows in areas of sandy or poor soils.

Water Forget-Me-Not

Water Forget-Me-Not

Myosotis palustris ■ Josvafő, Hungary ■ A perennial found in wet habitats such as streams and ponds, it is native to Eurasia but naturalized in other parts of the world.

Hungarian Iris

Hungarian Iris

Iris variegata ■ Kunpeszér, Hungary ■ Also known as the Dalmatian Iris, this short, colourful iris is native to several countries in southeast Europe and the Balkans.

Two-leaf Squill

Two-leaf Squill

Scilla bifolia ■ Rácalmás, Hungary ■ One of the earliest flowering wildflowers in the Hungarian woodlands. With a mild winter they appear as early as February.

Musk Mallow

Musk Mallow

Malva moschata ■ Kunpeszér, Hungary ■ This weed is also cultivated as garden plant and I can see why. It produces lots of spectacular large pink flowers. The flowers have a bit of a musky odour, hence the common name. It likes well-drained fertile soil. Native to Europe, it is naturalized in many other parts of the world.

Rolling Hen and Chicks

Rolling Hen and Chicks

Sempervivum globiferum ssp. hirtum ■ Nagykovácsi, Hungary ■ This succulent is native to mountainous regions of SE Europe but it is also popular in gardens and as a house plant. The buds can sometimes detach and roll away from the mother plant to grow separately. This is where the strange common name comes from.

Tassel Hyacinth

Tassel Hyacinth

Leopoldia comosa ■ Josvafő, Hungary ■ Native to the Mediterranean region, the bulbs of this plant are considered a delicacy in southern Italy and Greece. They are boiled, pickled and then kept in olive oil.

Herb Robert

Herb Robert

Geranium robertianum ■ Budakeszi, Hungary ■ Named for 11th century French monk Robert of Molesme, this European geranium has been used in folk medicine as a treatment for toothaches, nosebleeds, mosquito bites, diarrhea, and wound healing.

Bloody Crane's-bill

Bloody Crane's-bill

Geranium sanguineum ■ Budakeszi, Hungary ■ There are many cultivars of this rhizomatous perennial, but it is also quite common in the wild.

White Hellebore

White Hellebore

Veratrum album ■ Ocsa, Hungary ■ This tall herbaceous perennial is native to Europe and western Asia and is highly toxic, containing over 50 neurotoxic alkaloids. It is speculated that Alexander the Great’s early demise was caused by poisoning from this plant as, just prior to his death, he had symptoms consistent with Veratrum album poisoning.

Fragrant Orchid

Fragrant Orchid

Gymnadenia conopsea ■ Selcepuszta, Hungary ■ This tall orchid is relatively common in northern and central Europe. It flowers in June and is pollinated almost exclusively by moths.

Burnt-tip Orchid

Burnt-tip Orchid

Neotinea ustulata ■ Budakeszi, Hungary ■ This orchid flowers for only a few weeks in late May and early June in warm spots with relatively dry, well-drained soil. The dark purple unopened flower buds look, from a distance, as if the top of the stalk has been burnt, hence the common name.

Round-headed Rampion

Round-headed Rampion

Phyteuma orbiculare ■ Kesthely, Hungary ■ This is probably the commonest and most widespread of Europe’s rampion species. It can be found in sunny spots or areas with dappled sunlight such as meadows, forest edges, roadside verges and ditches.

Violet Limodore

Violet Limodore

Limodrorum abortivum ■ Kesthely, Hungary ■ This is a very tall orchid native to the Mediterranean Basin and parts of western Asia. It prefers dry, open pine woodland. It produces no leaves, having only a stalk and flowers. Like many orchids, it cannot produce enough nutrients through photosynthesis, so it relies on fungi in the root system for sustenance.

Elecampane

Elecampane

Inula helenium ■ Sümeg, Hungary ■ This member of the daisy family has been used since ancient Roman times as a condiment and as a treatment for digestive disorders. As the genus name suggests, the plant is rich in inulin, a fructose polymer widely used in supplements, pharmaceuticals and processed food. The species name is from Helen of Troy because legend has it that elecampane grew where her tears fell.

St. Stephen's Carnation

St. Stephen's Carnation

Dianthus plumarius regis-stephani ■ Sümeg, Hungary ■ This white subspecies of Garden Pink is native to the Carpathian Basin, where art grows on dry, sandy or rocky soil.

Common Ball Flower

Common Ball Flower

Globularia punctata ■ Sümeg, Hungary ■ This perennial is a member of the plantain family and can be found on dry, calcareous soils or rocky slopes.

Late Spider Orchid

Late Spider Orchid

Ophrys fuciflora ■ Maróc, Hungary ■ This orchid is widespread throughout Europe and the Middle East but is in serious decline because of habitat loss.

Fly Orchid

Fly Orchid

Ophrys insectifera ■ Sümeg, Hungary ■ This orchid's small, dark flowers produce a scent similar to female fly pheromones. When male flies try to mate with the flower, they pollinate the plant.

Three-toothed Orchid

Three-toothed Orchid

Neotinea tridentata ■ Budakeszi, Hungary ■ This beautiful orchid is native to the Mediterranean regions. Like many orchids, it is not so good at photosynthesis, so it relies on fungi in its root system for nourishment.

Marsh Orchid

Marsh Orchid

Anacamptis palustris ■ Dabas, Hungary ■ Not to be confused with Early Marsh Orchid, which is a different species. This tall orchid has a very wide distribution in Europe and western Asia, ranging as far north as Sweden. It prefers damp habitats.

Early Marsh Orchid

Early Marsh Orchid

Dactylorhiza incarnata ■ Dabas, Hungary ■ Like the name suggests, this perennial likes wet meadows. It is found throughout Europe and western Asia although it is in decline in some countries because of habitat loss. The Hungarian common name is Flesh-coloured Petal Orchid, which is closer to the latin name than the English common name (incarnata means flesh-coloured). I think this name comes from the color of the unopened buds, as the fully developed flowers are purple.

Bug Orchid

Bug Orchid

Anacamptis coriophora ■ Dabas, Hungary ■ This orchid likes sunny meadows and is found throughout southern Europe. It is in serious decline because of habitat loss and like other orchids, it is a highly protected species in Hungary.

Pyramidal Orchid

Pyramidal Orchid

Anacamptis pyramidalis ■ Dabas, Hungary ■ With its dense cluster of neon pink flowers, this is one of the more spectacular orchids in the Hungarian countryside. It prefers sunny meadows and drier soils and is found from southwest Europe to Iran.

Yellow Archangel

Yellow Archangel

Lamium galeobdolon ■ Velem, Hungary ■ This member of the deadnettle (or mint) family is native to Europe and Western Asia. The tiny flowers are easy to overlook, but they are quite beautiful when viewed from up close.

Sand Catchfly

Sand Catchfly

Silene conica ■ Kunpeszér, Hungary ■ A small annual plant that grows in sandy, well drained soils. It is a bit unique in that it does not produce separate staminate and pistillate flowers, but hermaphroditic flowers that can be either male or female. Also, according to Wikipedia, it has the largest mitochondrial genome ever identified in the plant world.

Dyer's Alkanet

Dyer's Alkanet

Alkanna tinctoria ■ Kunpeszér, Hungary ■ This member of the borage family is native to the Mediterranean region. When ground up, the roots produce a red powder that can be used as cloth dye (hence the common name), wood stain or even food colouring.

Purple Mullein

Purple Mullein

Verbascum phoeniceum ■ Apaj, Hungary ■ This is the earliest mullein species to bloom in the spring.

Blue Flax

Blue Flax

Linum perenne ■ Apaj, Hungary ■ This close relative of the flax you buy in the health food store gives a welcome splash of early spring color to the grasslands.

Gentian Speedwell

Gentian Speedwell

Veronica gentianoides ■ Budapest, Hungary ■ This perennial is native to the Caucasus region of eastern Europe. It is a common garden plant with a wide variety of cultivars, but it also grows in the wild, like this specimen.

Blue Bugle

Blue Bugle

Ajuga reptans ■ Kunpeszér, Hungary ■ This perennial herb, a member of the mint family, is native to Europe. Its deep blue flowery spikes make it a popular with gardeners and bugs. At least 20 species of butterfly and several species of flies feed on its nectar.

Early Spider Orchid

Early Spider Orchid

Ophrys sphegodes ■ Kunpeszér, Hungary ■ Like its congeners, this orchid’s reproduction is based on deception. The flowers superficially resemble an insect. When a bug tries to mate with the flower, it pollinates the plant.

Purple Gromwell

Purple Gromwell

Lithospermum purpurocaeruleum ■ Kunpeszér, Hungary ■ This perennial herb is widespread in Europe in warm habitats with sandy or calciferous soils. It produces abundant flowers which start out reddish and then turn a deep blue as the flower matures.

Yellow Morel

Yellow Morel

Morchella esculenta ■ Budapest, Hungary ■ Unlike many other fungi that fruit in the fall, this species of morel fruits in late April and early May. It is edible and has a unique flavour that is prized by chefs.

Red Dead-nettle

Red Dead-nettle

Lamium purpureum ■ Tass, Hungary ■ One of the most abundant spring wildflowers in Hungary. In April it is literally everywhere.

Yellow Pheasant's Eye

Yellow Pheasant's Eye

Adonis vernalis ■ Budapest, Hungary ■ A member of the buttercup family found in dry meadows in scattered locations across Eurasia. Like other members of the Adonis genus, it is poisonous, containing powerful cardiac stimulants that can induce cardiac arrest.

Asian Flax

Asian Flax

Linum austriacum ■ Kunpeszér, Hungary ■ Like the name suggests, this flax is native to central Asia but has spread to Europe and parts of North America.

Scotch Bonnet

Scotch Bonnet

Marasmius oreades ■ Bugyi, Hungary ■ Most people associate Scotch Bonnet with the hot pepper, so this mushroom has another name. It is also known as the Fairy Ring Mushroom.

Cork Spindle-bush

Cork Spindle-bush

Euonymus phellomanus ■ Rétszílás, Hungary ■ On a dull fall day, it is always a pleasure to encounter this shrub with its retina-blasting, candy pink seed pods. Although native to China, a few grow in the wild in Hungary.

Sulphur Polyphore

Sulphur Polyphore

Laetiporus sulphureus ■ Rácalmás, Hungary ■ This widespread bracket fungus is sometimes called “Chicken of the Woods” because when young and cooked, it apparently tastes like chicken. This specimen is much too old for eating.

Daisy Fleabane

Daisy Fleabane

Erigeron annuus ■ Rácalmás, Hungary ■ Originally native to Eastern North America, this annual member of the aster family is very common and widespread in Europe.

Blackthorn

Blackthorn

Prunus spinosa ■ Vereb, Hungary ■ The Blackthorn, also known as sloe, is a spiny bush in the rose family. The small, plum-like berries are used to make sloe gin.

Sea Aster

Sea Aster

Aster tripolium ■ Bugyi, Hungary ■ Even though Hungary is a long way from the sea, the interfluvial plain between the Danube and Tisza Rivers has extensive areas of sandy, saline soils favoured by plants such as sea aster and sea lavender.

Destructive Pholiota

Destructive Pholiota

Pholiota populnea ■ Rácalmás, Hungary ■ This large, shaggy mushroom is usually found growing out of the ends of poplar logs. It is found throughout the temperate northern hemisphere. It is not poisonous but not supposed to be very good eating.

Jimson Weed

Jimson Weed

Datura stramonium ■ Apaj, Hungary ■ This annual weed is sometimes ingested by recreational drug users because it contains powerful, hallucinogenic tropane alkaloids. A bit dangerous, however, as the strength of the compounds vary widely from plant to plant, making it easy to accidentally poison yourself.

Sacred Lotus

Sacred Lotus

Nelumbo nucifera ■ Rétszílás, Hungary ■ Although not native to Europe, this aquatic plant is so spectacular I couldn’t resist a photo when I encountered a sizeable patch growing out in the wild. Normally found from India to SE Asia, all parts of the plant are edible and used in various Asian recipes.

Vittadini's Lepidella

Vittadini's Lepidella

Amanita vittadini ■ Kunpeszér, Hungary ■ The Amanita genus contains some of the world’s deadliest mushrooms. It has been estimated that the genus is responsible for 90% of worldwide fatalities from eating poisonous mushrooms. I’m not sure of the status of this particular uncommon species. Some websites claim it is edible, while others say it is poisonous, but it is best to avoid eating all Amanitae.

European Birthwort

European Birthwort

Aristolochia clematitis ■ Kunpeszér, Hungary ■ Heart-shaped leaves and tubular yellow flowers characterize the deadly poisonous European Birthwort, putative cause of the disease known as Balkan Endemic Nephropathy. It is the only food plant for the Southern Festoon butterfly.

Hemp

Hemp

Cannabis ruderalis ■ Dabas, Hungary ■ Hemp is a very common weed in Hungary. There is some debate as to whether C. ruderalis is a species in its own right, or a subspecies of the more familiar C. sativa. It has much less THC content than C. sativa or C. indica, and its small stature means it is not the best for rope fibers.

Silky Buttercup

Silky Buttercup

Ranunculus illyricus ■ Sárszentágota, Hungary ■ This tall, perennial buttercup is found in meadows and woodlands from Central Europe to the Caucasus. It is a protected species in Hungary.

Yellow Flag Iris

Yellow Flag Iris

Iris pseudacorus ■ Bugyi, Hungary ■ Native to Europe, this wetland species is considered a noxious invasive species in many parts of the world. Just because you are pretty, it doesn’t always mean you get love. :)

Cornflower

Cornflower

Centaurea cyanus ■ Dunatetétlen, Hungary ■ The cornflower is a species of knapweed native to temperate Europe, but has become widely naturalized in other parts of the world. It is also popular as a garden plant. The flowers are edible and sometimes used in salads and teas.

Maidenhair Tree

Maidenhair Tree

Ginkgo biloba ■ Budaörs, Hungary ■ Easily recognized by its fan-shaped leaves, the ginkgo is an ancient species, with the fossil record going back 270 million years. It has a genome more than three times larger than the human genome and is so unique in the plant kingdom that it is placed in its own Class. In the wild it is restricted to a very small range in southwestern China. Despite being cultivated in many parts of the world, it has never become naturalized anywhere.

Military Orchid

Military Orchid

Orchis militaris ■ Kunpeszér, Hungary ■ This lovely orchid gets its name from the shape of the flowers which resemble a person wearing a helmet. I guess they could have called it motorcyclist orchid except that motorcycles didn’t exist when it was named way back in the 19th century.

Rapeseed

Rapeseed

Brassica napus ■ Kiskunlacháza, Hungary ■ Early May in Hungary means vast fields of retina-blasting yellow as rapeseed is in full bloom. Aside from the farmer’s field, it is also a common roadside weed in Hungary. It is the third largest source of vegetable oil in the world. The variety grown in North America is known as canola.

Water-crowfoot

Water-crowfoot

Ranunculus trichophyllus ■ Apaj, Hungary ■ An aquatic member of the buttercup family, this plant is able to photosynthesize underwater. They generally prefer flowing water, so I was surprised to find this specimen growing in a flooded farm field.

Hoary Cress

Hoary Cress

Lepidium draba ■ Apaj, Hungary ■ A rhizomatous perennial that belongs to the same family as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, Hoary Cress is native to SE Europe and Western Asia. It has become naturalized in places like North America and Australia where it is considered an invasive pest.

Common Grape Hyacinth

Common Grape Hyacinth

Muscari neglectum ■ Kunpeszér, Hungary ■ Grape Hyacinth is very common in the wild in Hungary, but is also a popular garden plant.

Lawn Daisy

Lawn Daisy

Bellis perennis ■ Budaörs, Hungary ■ The commonest European daisy, its Latin name means “everlasting beauty”. The plant has astringent properties and for this reason the ancient Romans would soak bandages in daisy juice to bind the wounds of legionnaires wounded in battle.

Lesser Periwinkle

Lesser Periwinkle

Vinca minor ■ Budaörs, Hungary ■ Native to central and southern Europe, this periwinkle is naturalized in many other parts of the world. It is also cultivated for gardens because the evergreen, waxy leaves provide nice ground cover. It doesn’t produce a lot of seeds but reproduces primarily by runners along the ground.

Spring Cinquefoil

Spring Cinquefoil

Potentilla tabernaemontani ■ Diosd, Hungary ■ Five petals with an indented tip identify the cinquefoils. This species is partial to dry grasslands and rocky slopes and flowers early during the first warm days of spring.

Hairy Violet

Hairy Violet

Viola hirta ■ Diosd, Hungary ■ This early flowering violet is found throughout Europe in sunny places with well-drained, chalky soil. As it has no scent whatsoever, it is sometimes pejoratively referred to as dog violet.

Common Storksbill

Common Storksbill

Erodium cicutarium ■ Szabadszállás, Hungary ■ This low annual weed gets its common name from the shape of the seed cases, which resemble a stork’s head. The seeds have a long tail that is straight when wet and coiled when dry. The seeds can actually drill themselves into the soil with this coiling motion.

Jerusalem Artichoke

Jerusalem Artichoke

Helianthus tuberosus ■ Szabadszállás, Hungary ■ This showy perennial is neither from Jerusalem, nor an artichoke, but a sunflower native to North America. The edible tubers of the plant are rich in potassium, iron, several vitamins and fructose polymers which gives them a slightly sweet taste. They have been used for food as far back as the 16th century, and hit their peak of popularity in 19th century France. Today the tubers are used mostly for animal feed and as a commercial source of inulin

Common Hops

Common Hops

Humulus lupulus ■ Soponya, Hungary ■ Cultivated on an industrial scale for beer making, hops is common in the wild in Hungary. The plant probably originated in Germany and France, and by the early 17th century had spread to America. Today, the U.S.A. and Germany are the biggest hops producers by a wide margin.

Globe Thistle

Globe Thistle

Echinops sphaerocephalus ■ Sárkeresztúr, Hungary ■ It’s not hard to see where the globe thistle gets its common (and scientific) name from. A perennial that likes sunny spots, it is native to Eurasia but has been naturalized on other continents such as North America.

Great Burnet

Great Burnet

Sanguisorba officinalis ■ Budapest, Hungary ■ Burnets are flowering perennials in the rose family and are found in temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. They have some medicinal properties including the ability to staunch blood flow. The genus name refers to the plant’s hemostatic properties.

Stubble Rosegill

Stubble Rosegill

Volvopluteus gloiocephalus ■ Csákvar, Hungary ■ A large saprotrophic mushroom that is found on all continents except Antarctica. It is edible but not very tasty. I’m not sure on this ID as there are many related species that look similar.

Cutleaf Teasle

Cutleaf Teasle

Dipsacus laciniatius ■ Csákvar, Hungary ■ This perennial is native to Europe and Asia but has become naturalized in parts of North American where it is considered an invasive weed. White flowers and deeply lobed leaves distinguish this species from the purple-flowered Common Teasle. Teasles are a staple of dried floral arrangements.

Forking Larkspur

Forking Larkspur

Consolida regalis ■ Bugyi, Hungary ■ This annual member of the buttercup family is found across Europe and parts of western Asia where it prefers well-drained, sandy soils. In some regions it is in serious decline because of the use of herbicides and intensive farming.

Common Hollyhock

Common Hollyhock

Alcea rosea ■ Bugyi, Hungary ■ Despite the latin name, this is not a rose but a member of the mallow family (rosea refers to the color of the flowers). It is an ornamental plant native to China that was introduced to Europe hundreds of years ago. A few, like this one, escape the confines of gardens to grow in the wild.

Austrian Sage

Austrian Sage

Salvia austriaca ■ Fot, Hungary ■ Salvia is the largest genus in the mint family and is characterized by a special pollination mechanism. When a bug pushes its face into the flower in the search for nectar, a lever mechanism brings the two stamens down on the insect’s back to deposit pollen. Many members of the genus have hairy stems and leaves to reduce water loss.

Yellow Bedstraw

Yellow Bedstraw

Galium verum ■ Fot, Hungary ■ One of the more colourful members of the Galium genus, this low perennial is native to Europe and Asia, but has become naturalized in North America, New Zealand and Tasmania. Bedstraws get their common name from the fact that, in previous centuries, they were used to stuff mattresses because they contain aromatic compounds that act as natural flea repellants. This species was also used to curdle milk in the making of cheese.

Common Groundsel

Common Groundsel

Senecio vulgaris ■ Rétimajor, Hungary ■ This hardy member of the daisy family likes well-drained soil in sunny spots. It can grow well in poor soils so it is reasonably common on disturbed ground, construction sites and roadsides. It is annual and hermaphroditic, with a single plant having both make and female organs.

Dog Rose

Dog Rose

Rosa canina ■ Kunpeszer, Hungary ■ In centuries past, parts of this climbing shrub were used to treat dog bites, hence the name. In the wild, the flowers vary from bright pink to white, and every shade in between.

Opium Poppy

Opium Poppy

Papaver somniferum ■ Tiszaalpár, Hungary ■ The source of opium, heroin, morphine and codeine, this plant also produces the poppy seeds used in cooking and baking. It is much larger and taller than the red poppy used for Remembrance Day in Britain and North America.

Siberian Iris

Siberian Iris

Iris sibirica ■ Dabas, Hungary ■ This perennial grows from rhizomes and, like most irises, prefers very damp soil. It is native to temperate Europe and Asia but has been naturalized in eastern North America. It is also cultivated as an ornamental plant.

Fragrant Orchid

Fragrant Orchid

Gymnadenia conopsea ■ Dabas, Hungary ■ One of the commoner European orchids, the color can vary from very pale to dark purple. The nectar is very deep in the flower so only pollinators with very long tongues, such as hawk-moths, can get to it.

Woodcock Orchid

Woodcock Orchid

Ophrys scolopax ■ Dabas, Hungary ■ This orchid is found throughout the north Mediterranean basin, and is a protected species in Hungary. It flowers in May and June. The lip of the flower resembles an insect which is thought to encourage bugs to come and pollinate the flower.

Crimson Clover

Crimson Clover

Trifolium incarnatum ■ Kiskunlacháza, Hungary ■ Few things look as nice as a dense field of crimson clover in full bloom (despite that, it was not the inspiration for the Tommy James song). With a nutritional profile superior to that of alfalfa, this European native makes great cattle fodder and is also grown commercially for human consumption.

Green-winged Orchid

Green-winged Orchid

Anacamptis morio ■ Újsolt, Hungary ■ This native of Western Eurasia has a strange name. Ostensibly named for the dark green stripes under the flower petals, in most cases all you can see is intense purple. It likes limestone-rich soil and requires mycorrhizal fungi to survive. This is fungi that live in the root system and help the plant extract nutrients from the soil.

Horse Chestnut

Horse Chestnut

Aesculus hippocastanum ■ Budaörs, Hungary ■ This tree is not a true chestnut but belongs to the soapberry family. It has become so common and widespread in temperate parts of the world that most people don’t know it is native to a very small area of the western Balkans in the extreme southeast corner of Europe.

Common Hawthorn

Common Hawthorn

Crataegus monogyna ■ Apaj, Hungary ■ Deeply cut leaf lobes distinguish this hawthorn from the Midland Hawthorn. Both are very common in Hungary. This species is native to Europe but is now naturalized in many parts of the world.

Midland  Hawthorne

Midland Hawthorne

Crataegus laevigata ■ Bugyi, Hungary ■ A common bush in the Hungarian countryside, this Hawthorn is distinguished from the Common Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) by leave lobes that are not as deeply cut.

Sempervivum

Sempervivum

Sempervivum marmoreum ■ Budaörs, Hungary ■ This succulent is native to southeastern Europe and can be found on rocky slopes with southern exposure.

White Laceflower

White Laceflower

Orlaya grandiflora ■ Rétimajor, Hungary ■ This hardy annual, a member of the parsley family, is easily identified by its unique flower structure. It is relatively common in the wild, but is also cultivated for garden use.

Garden Star-of-Bethlehem

Garden Star-of-Bethlehem

Ornithogalum umbellatum ■ Soponya, Hungary ■ This perennial member of the lily family is native to southern Europe and North Africa. The bulbs are considered toxic because they contain cardiac-stimulating glycosides. Despite that, they are still used in some homeopathic remedies.

Common Lime

Common Lime

Tilia x europaea. ■ Apaj, Hungary ■ Members of the Tilia genus are called lime trees in England (not to be confused with the tree that produces the citrus fruit) but lindens in continental Europe (eg: Berlin’s famous boulevard Unter den Linden - Under the Lindens). They can be easily recognized by the fruit hanging from long, pale, showy bracts. As indicated by the latin name, the Common Linden is a hybrid between Broad-leaved and Small-leaved Lindens.

Scarlet Cup Fungus

Scarlet Cup Fungus

Sarcoscypha sp. ■ Tardos, Hungary ■ This colourful fungus grows on decayed wood on the forest floor in Europe, Asia and North America, and usually appears in the cooler months of winter or very early spring. I’m not sure whether this specimen is S. coccinea or S. austriaca.

Common Teasle

Common Teasle

Dipsacus fullonum ■ Rácalmás, Hungary ■ Native to Eurasia, this plant is widely naturalized in other parts of the world, and cultivated in a form known as Fuller’s Teasle. In the past, the dried heads were used to clean, align and raise the nap of fabrics such as wool, but these days they are used mosty in floral arrangements.

Summer Pheasant's Eye

Summer Pheasant's Eye

Adonis aestivalis ■ Bugyi, Hungary ■ A beautiful, but deadly plant, Pheasant’s Eye contains cardenolides, a type of steroid that can cause cardiac arrest.

Ground-ivy

Ground-ivy

Glechoma hederacea ■ Rétimajor, Hungary ■ Native to Europe, Ground-ivy has become naturalized in many other parts of the world.

Pygmy Iris

Pygmy Iris

Iris pumilla ■ Bugyi, Hungary ■ The sudden emergence of thousands of Pygmy Irises gives an early spring splash of colour to the steppes of southeastern Europe.

Wild Privet

Wild Privet

Ligustrum vulgare ■ Budapest, Hungary ■ The jet-black berries of the wild privet are supposed to be poisonous to humans, but the thrushes seem to really like them.

Alfalfa

Alfalfa

Medicago sativa ■ Szabadszállás, Hungary ■ Known as lucerne outside of North America, this perennial and highly nutritious member of the pea family is primarily used for livestock fodder.

Crown Vetch

Crown Vetch

Securigera varia ■ Bugyi, Hungary ■ The vetches are tough, hardy legumes. Their extensive, complex roots systems are great for preventing soil erosion, but this also makes it hard to eradicate when it becomes invasive, crowding out other species.

Common Corncockle

Common Corncockle

Agrostemma githago ■ Alsónemédi, Hungary ■ Nice looking flower, but the plant is deadly poisonous if ingested. It is partial to sandy soils.

Oxeye Daisy

Oxeye Daisy

Leucanthemum vulgare ■ Alsónemédi, Hungary ■ Native to Europe and Asia this comon wildflower has become naturalized in other parts of the world, where some consider it a noxious invasive weed.

Dittany

Dittany

Dictamnus albus ■ Zánka, Hungary ■ Sometimes called the “burning bush”, this plant emits a volatile oil which, on very hot, windless days forms a vapourous and flammable cloud around the plant. It is found in warm open woodland habitats in southern Europe, North Africa and Asia.

Black Locust

Black Locust

Robinia pseudoacacia ■ Rétimajor, Hungary ■ Native to Eastern North America, this is one of the commoner trees in the Hungarian countryside. Although the Hungarians call it White Acacia, it is not a true acacia, as the specific epithet indicates.

European Ash

European Ash

Fraxinus excelsior ■ Halásztelek, Hungary ■ Pinnate leaves and clusters of “keys” make the ash tree easy to spot. The keys are one of the favorite foods of wintering Bullfinches.

French Tamarisk

French Tamarisk

Tamarix gallica ■ Bugyi, Hungary ■ Also known as salt cedar, this shrub’s hardiness and tolerance for saline soils make it an ideal windbreak along country roads.

Red Deadnettle

Red Deadnettle

Lamium pupureum ■ Dunakeszi, Hungary.

Wild Campion

Wild Campion

Silene latifolia ■ Dunakeszi, Hungary.

Common Bugloss

Common Bugloss

Anchusa officinalis ■ Dunakeszi, Hungary ■ Although native to the Mediterranean region, Bugloss is spreading in Western North America where it is considered an invasive noxious weed. It has sedative, analgesic and laxative properties, and the roots produce a red dye.

Goat's Beard

Goat's Beard

Tragopogon pratensis ■ Budapest, Hungary.

Musk Thistle

Musk Thistle

Carduus nutans ■ Budapest, Hungary.

Sea Buckthorn

Sea Buckthorn

Hippophae rhamnoides ■ Dunakeszi, Hungary ■ A spiny, deciduous shrub that is highly tolerant of sandy and saline soils, the Sea Buckthorn can be found from Britain to Western China. It is an important cultivar as the berries are used in a wide range of beverages, herbal products, dietary supplements, edible oils and skin creams.

Meadow Clary

Meadow Clary

Salvia pratensis ■ Dunakeszi, Hungary.

English Ivy

English Ivy

Hedera helix ■ Dunakeszi, Hungary.

Common Mallow

Common Mallow

Malva sylvestris ■ Naszály, Hungary.

Common Chicory

Common Chicory

Chicorium intybus ■ Bugyi, Hungary ■ A widespread common weed, chicory is commercially important as the primary source of inulin - a fructose polymer widely used in processed foods, supplements and pharmaceuticals.

Red Poppy

Red Poppy

Papaver rhoeas ■ Bugyi, Hungary ■ An abundant wildflower in Europe, it is associated with Remembrance Day in Canada and Britain. It is not the same species as the opium poppy.

Field Bindweed

Field Bindweed

Convolvulus arvensis ■ Bugyi, Hungary ■ A pretty face that causes a lot of trouble, bindweed forms dense, climbing mats that choke out other plants. In temperate zones, it a major pest plant for farmers.

Brown Knapweed

Brown Knapweed

Centauria jacea ■ Bugyi, Hungary.

Orange Mullein

Orange Mullein

Verbascum phlomoides ■ Solt Járás-puszta, Hungary.

Sea Lavendar

Sea Lavendar

Limonium gmelinii hungaricum ■ Solt Járás-puszta, Hungary ■ Despite the name, this plant is not related to lavendar, but belongs to the leadwort family. It is found only in areas of saline soil.

Canada Goldenrod

Canada Goldenrod

Solidago canadensis ■ Budapest, Hungary ■ A naturalized common weed in many parts of Europe. Goldenrod leaves contain about 7% latex rubber, but the molecular weight is too low to render a useable end product.

Marsh Ragwort

Marsh Ragwort

Senecio aquaticus ■ Solt Járás-puszta, Hungary.

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne's Lace

Daucus carota ■ Solt Járás-puszta, Hungary ■ Sometimes called the wild carrot, it is actually the same species as the carrot you buy in the grocery store.

Common Milkweed

Common Milkweed

Asclepias syriaca ■ Bugyi, Hungary ■ Despite what the specific epithet suggests, this weed is native to eastern North America - an example of how the priority principle in taxonomy can sometimes result in goofy latin names. It has become naturalized in many parts of Europe.

Viper's Bugloss

Viper's Bugloss

Echium vulgare ■ Bugyi, Hungary ■ Purple flowers with reddish stamens characterize this common European roadside weed.

Great Mullein

Great Mullein

Verbascum thapsus ■ Újsolt, Hungary.

Creeping Thistle

Creeping Thistle

Cirsium arvense ■ Solt Járás-puszta, Hungary.

Russian Silverberry

Russian Silverberry

Elaeagnus angustifolia ■ Solt Járás-puszta, Hungary ■ Hungarian conservationists view this shrub-like tree as an invasive pest and would like to eradicate it, but I can’t see it happening. It is just too common in the countryside. The birds seem to like it. Its dense, spiny branches provide nesting habitat for many open country birds, and the olive-like fruit provides sustenance to passerines during fall migration.

Purple Loosestrife

Purple Loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria ■ Biatorbagy, Hungary ■ In its native Europe, I have never seen this plant form the dense, choking stands that make it a major invasive pest plant in North American lakes and waterways.

Large-flowered Hemp-nettle

Large-flowered Hemp-nettle

Galeopsis speciosa ■ Rácalmás, Hungary.

Bittersweet Nightshade

Bittersweet Nightshade

Solanum dulcamara ■ Rácalmás, Hungary ■ The high levels of the alkaloid solanine in this nightshade makes it poisonous, but much less deadly than Belladonna. It is closely related to the potato, tomato and eggplant.

Tansy

Tansy

Tanacetum vulgare ■ Tass, Hungary.

Wild Angelica

Wild Angelica

Angelica sylvestris ■ Rácalmás, Hungary.

Dark Mullein

Dark Mullein

Verbascum nigrum ■ Tass, Hungary.

Tree of Heaven

Tree of Heaven

Ailanthus altissima ■ Rácalmás, Hungary ■ Native to China, this sumac has been widely naturalized in other parts of the world. It has a long history of use for medicinal properties, as a host plant for silkworms and as an ornamental tree.

Red Clover

Red Clover

Trifolium pratense ■ Budapest, Hungary.

Hemp Agrimony

Hemp Agrimony

Eupatorium cannabinum ■ Budapest, Hungary.

Bladder Campion

Bladder Campion

Silene vulgaris ■ Budapest, Hungary.

Yarrow

Yarrow

Achillea millefolium ■ Bugyi, Hungary.

Cypress Spurge

Cypress Spurge

Euphorbia cyparissius ■ Bugyi, Hungary.

Rough Hawksbeard

Rough Hawksbeard

Crepis biennis ■ Bugyi, Hungary.

European Michaelmas Daisy

European Michaelmas Daisy

Aster amellus ■ Apaj, Hungary.

Common Comfrey

Common Comfrey

Symphytum officinale ■ Budapest, Hungary.

Spotted Deadnettle

Spotted Deadnettle

Lamium maculatum ■ Rácalmás, Hungary.

Dense-flowered Mullein

Dense-flowered Mullein

Verbascum densiflorum ■ Bugyi, Hungary.

Hungarian Meadow Saffron

Hungarian Meadow Saffron

Colchicum hungaricum ■ Nagyharsany, Hungary ■ Members of the Colchicum genus flower in winter. An adaptation to this unusual life cycle is that the reproductive part of the flower (ie: the ovaries) remain underground.

Wild Strawberry

Wild Strawberry

Fragaria vesca ■ Rácalmás, Hungary ■ Closely related to the garden strawberry hybrid you buy in the supermarket, this species was the first type of strawberry to be commercially cultivated in the 17th century.

Coltsfoot

Coltsfoot

Tussilago farfara ■ Cserépfalu, Hungary ■ Coltsfoot has been used for hundreds of years as a cough and sore throat reliever, and the dried, burnt leaves are useful as a salt substitute.

Common Field Speedwell

Common Field Speedwell

Veronica persica ■ Bugyi, Hungary.

Common Stork's-bill

Common Stork's-bill

Erodium cicutarium ■ Bugyi, Hungary ■ A member of the geranium family, it is so named because the seed pods look like the head of a stork.

Two-leaf Squill

Two-leaf Squill

Scilla bifolia ■ Cserépfalu, Hungary.

Lesser Celandine

Lesser Celandine

Ranunculus ficaria ■ Rácalmás, Hungary.

Marsh Marigold

Marsh Marigold

Caltha palustris ■ Kunpeszér, Hungary.

Marsh Spurge

Marsh Spurge

Euphorbia palustris ■ Kunpeszér, Hungary.

Greater Celandine

Greater Celandine

Chelidonium majus ■ Rácalmás, Hungary ■ A common perennial woodland herb belonging to the poppy family.

Black Elderberry

Black Elderberry

Sambucus nigra ■ Tiszaföldvár, Hungary ■ Native to Europe but widely naturalized in other parts of the world, the unripe berries and green parts of this shrub contain cyanide. The flowers and ripe berries are used in a wide variety of drinks and condiments.

Perennial Honesty

Perennial Honesty

Lunaria rediviva ■ Királyrét, Hungary.

Cow Vetch

Cow Vetch

Vicia cracca ■ Hortobágy halastó, Hungary ■ So named because it is widely used as cattle fodder, this vetch, like most legumes, helps enrich the soil via its nitrogen fixing ability.

Yellow Sweet Clover

Yellow Sweet Clover

Melilotus officinalis ■ Hortobágy Halastó, Hungary ■ This common roadside weed is a natural source of warfarin, a powerful anticoagulant widely used for treating strokes.

St. John's Wort

St. John's Wort

Hypericum perforatum ■ Bácsalmás, Hungary ■ Native to Europe, but widely naturalized in other parts of the world, St. John’s Wort is used as an herbal treatment for depression and a variety of other ailments.

Kidney Vetch

Kidney Vetch

Anthyllis vulneraria ■ Budaörs, Hungary.

Peach-leaved Bellflower

Peach-leaved Bellflower

Campanula persicifolia ■ Budaörs, Hungary.

Common Wormwood

Common Wormwood

Artemesia vulgaris ■ Hortobágy-halastó, Hungary ■ Other members of this famous genus include Sweet Wormwood from which the malaria treatment artemisin is extracted, Bitter Wormwood which provides flavoring for the French spirit absinthe, and the sagebrush of the American west, without which no cowboy movie would be complete.

Field Eryngo

Field Eryngo

Eryngium campestre ■ Kunszentmiklos, Hungary ■ Tough, spiny and prickly leaves characterize this common European prerennial weed.