In early summer, the meadow areas of Raymore Park burst with a colourful display of a tall wildflower that seems to behave itself fairly well (in other words hasn’t crowded everything else out to become a monoculture). It looks a bit like a wild phlox but has four petals per flower compared to five for the real thing. It’s a photographer’s dream flower as it seems to line wooded areas with bursts of purple and white.
This Eurasian invader has enjoyed life in North America since the 17th Century and is a member of the mustard family. It is cultivated as a flower by gardeners and probably escaped into the wild from settlers’ gardens.
Attractive to butterflies, it is currently competing with large numbers of locust trees to produce a heady jasmine scent in the park.