Identification - South Coast

These are the weeds/wild flowers/ plants which I've seen on the South Coast, especially Hayling Island, where I used to go for a week every year. I am seeing plants there that I don't have in my garden or next door or in my local area so thought it would be good to put them on a separate page. - update - I am also seeing some of these in the London area but originally I had not and they were put here.

Of course, identification can be quite difficult as the photos I take are from that moment in time and there is no watching them grow and develop or see flowers or going back and taking a close-up photo.

In alphabetical order, a few unknowns at the bottom.

Bristly Ox-tongue (Picris echioides renamed to Helminthotheca echioides??)

I don't know how wide-spread this is. I saw this on holiday in West Sussex - update - saw this in London (August 2017) so also see main Weed Guide

Bristly Ox-Tongue (Picris echioides)

I noticed this small plant with those distinctive blistered leaves in Hampshire on the way to Hayling Island and thought it looked like a younger bristly ox-tongue.

bristly oxtongue leaves


Thank you to reader Ruth who's helped with an ID for this.

Dyer's Rocket (reseda luteola)

seen on holiday in West Sussex

dyer's rocket

another example I saw in Hampshire

dyers rocket

Elder ??

I saw an example recently nearby and the friend who was with me thought it was an elder. I'm not really sure.


a popular Hayling Island plant (seen amongst the Hawk's-beard below)


Evening Primrose

I think this is evening primrose but not sure what variety, if any.

evening primrose

Field Bindweed (also see Bindweed in the Weed Identification page)

smaller than the ordinary bindweed we tend to find in our gardens, I saw this at Lordington Lavender in West Sussex

field bindweed

underneath side has pink stripes

field bindweed

Goji Berry / Duke of Argyll's Tea Tree (Lycium barbarum)

July, I've only seen this on Hayling Island so I don't know exactly how wide-spread it is but a reader did send me a pic of hers from East Anglia (?) I think. This is the first one I've seen in person.

goji berry duke of argyll's tea tree

only a few flowers left on this plant and the fruits are developing, although still green

goji berry green fruits close-up


Having another look at this, and the examples I've seen in London, and I think it's Hawk's-beard, either beaked or smooth, not absolutely certain so far. I originally saw it on the south coast but then later saw it in London so have also put it in the main Weed Guide. In flower May to July,  long bare stems rising above base rosette of toothed leaves, multiple branching flower stems from the top part of the stems. These yellow-flowered "weeds" can be quite difficult to differentiate. 

I saw this a few days ago (July 9th) on Hayling Island.

autumn hawkbit

close-up of the leaves

autumn hawkbit leaves

close-up of the flowers, not a great pic, out of focus, but it's too far away to go back easily to take another photo

the next July, row of flowers in exactly the same place, perennial? or did someone just weed well keeping the row of yellow flowers?

yellow-flowered weed

another hawk's-beard on Hayling Island

dandelion-like weeds

I think these are something else, looking like giant dandelions, especially the second one, maybe that is indeed what they are?


Horseweed (Erigeron canadensis) (also see Horseweed on the Weed Identification page)

I do have this weed at home but this one is much larger than any I see at home. It was on the patio on Hayling Island so it's been getting a lot of heat and sun so it has lots of flower buds.


Hottentot-Fig (Carpobrotus edulis)

Thank you to reader Ruth who's helped with an ID for this.

Lobularia maritima / Sweet Alyssum

"Pink" (Dianthus plumarius) ??

not sure anything more specific

dianthus plumarius


ragwort is everywhere but I saw this nice example with a red admiral butterfly in the churchyard in Binsted, West Sussex on holiday (I like visiting old churches)

red admiral butterfly on ragwort Binsted West Sussex

Red Valerian (Centhranthus ruber)

also white or pink flowers

red valerian

Rosa Rugosa

rosa rugosa

the rose hips on this rose are enormous, like fruit

rosa rugosa hips

Rose Campion (Silene coronaria)

lychnis coronaria

Scarlet Pimpernel

I saw this in Hampshire on the way to Hayling Island. I have not seen this in London but maybe it's there somewhere - I don't know.

scarlet pimpernel

Sea Holly (Eryngium maritimum)

This is at the nature reserve at Sandy Point on Hayling Island. I don't recall seeing any before so I wonder if they planted some wildflowers there.

sea holly Hayling Island

sea holly Hayling Island

Sea Lavender (Limonium)

Self-Heal (Prunella vulgaris)

the purple flowers left and right, ignore the stinging nettle in the middle, I don't know how wide-spread this is I saw this in Hampshire on the way to Hayling Island, I have not seen it in London


close-up of a flower from above


Wild Carrot (Daucus carota) ??

Only now that I'm reading about wild carrot (after I'm home), it says it smells like carrot which I didn't know so didn't smell it. Next time I'm on Hayling Island, I'll have to put my nose in it.

wild carrot

Wild lettuce (Lactuca virosa)

(low weed at the bottom is pellitory-of-the-wall)

close-up of the wild lettuce flowers

wild lettuce flowers

close-up of the wild lettuce leaves

wild lettuce leaves

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)


A few plants in the seafront garden at Hayling Island which I don't recognise. Please do get in touch if you know any of these (julie at, thanks.

This was taken in May, some flowers have finished, some left.

3 years later, another example after the flowers have finished in July.

unknown hayling island wildflower

this has no flowers to help with identification but the leaves a look like yellow-horned poppy

unknown hayling island