THE banks of the River Devon are brimming with a dazzling array of wildflowers at the moment and on a wander by a stretch between Tillicoultry and Dollar last week, I was constantly stopping in my tracks to appreciate their beauty.

One of the most striking was giant bellflower, a most imposing plant with magnificent large-petalled and tubular lilac blooms.

Giant Bellflower prefers damp woodland, shaded riversides and hedgerows, and the banks of the River Devon are the perfect place for it to thrive.

Equally eye-catching were the powder-puff white blooms of meadowsweet. Meadowsweet is a good illustration of this link between the treatments used by our ancestors and the medicines of today.

An infusion from this common but beautiful plant was used in olden times to ease pain and calm fevers, with the leaves and flowers containing the same group of chemicals as found in aspirin. The name aspirin is derived from spiraea, the old botanical term for meadowsweet.

The yellow blooms of meadow vetchling were similarly abundant. The is a scrambling plant that uses long grass and other vegetation to support the rather spindly stem.

Meadow vetchling has root nodules that can fix nitrogen from the air, thus enhancing the richness of the soil.

Hedge woundwort was also putting on a good display, with the whorls of the claret flowers formed together into a loose spike.

In times past, woundwort was used to treat wounds and stem bleeding, hence the name.

In damper margins, the related marsh woundwort flourishes, which has even more striking flowers.

As I wandered, other startling blooms brought me to a halt every so often, including meadow cranesbill and water forget-me-not.

Before my eyes was an unfolding tapestry of colour and it was wonderful to be enveloped by their warm embrace.