Plant & Tree

Cuckoo Flower (Lady’s Smock)

Cuckoo Flower   (Lady’s Smock)

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Abundant at the moment, this fair pink flower grows in hedgerows and meadows in sandy and clay soil.

Comfrey

Comfrey

Common Comfrey with purple flowers

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Common Comfrey with purple flowers now appearing. Some types of Comfrey have pink or white flowers.

It grows in hedgerows, woodland edges and gardens in dappled shade.

Do not confuse with Foxglove which has similar leaves but very different flowers. Get to know the smell and texture of the leaves to tell them apart.

a, PLANT AND TREE IDENTIFICATION

Here be a selection of plants growing at the moment that are useful ones to know.

Our slow  journey of getting to know the plants started with carrying books of plant pictures wherever we went. Soon enough we knew the names and some uses for the more common hedgerow plants, and what had been a dull green swathe of weeds transformed into an abundant,alive,useful and ever exciting new realm to explore.

Once you start looking, and finding whats what, you will begin to relate with the growth around you, how it changes, how it can help you and how you can help it.

We will give uses of these plants in future posts. For further information about them, visit the Plants For A Future database and type the name into the search bar.

The plants are in alphabetical order.

Click on the images below to see them closer.

Ribwort Plantain

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Grows beside the path, known as Lord of the Ways.

Have a look at the PLANTAIN PROFILE for more information.

Yellow Archangel

9th May on grassy woodland edge

9th May on grassy woodland edge

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close up of leaves and flowers

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Flowers close up


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Yellow Archangel starts appearing at the end of March in woods and grassy woodland edges and hedges.

St. George’s Mushrooms

It is (or was before midnight), St.George’s Day today.

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A couple of days back we found some St.George’s Mushrooms growing on someone’s mown lawn next to the driveway.

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Jack by the hedge

Garlic Mustard

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Lovely in a salad and cooked lightly in the pot. Great flavour, growing in hedgerows and on verges. Don’t pick it from a busy road.

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Its just about to come into flower now. Soon it will turn bitter, so best get out and pick some.

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And here it is in flower. We found it bolted right after Beltane, it’s peak. It is now in mature old age, no longer the lad, but now the venerable one.

Scurvy Grass

Scurvy grass was dried out and taken to sea by sailors to help cure them of scurvy. It is common near the coast.

Some people say its edible but we think it tastes like glue.

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Scurvy Grass, Mid-motorway, 6th April 09

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Scurvy Grass, Mid-motorway, 6th April 09

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These pictures were taken in the middle of a dual carriageway near Petersfield.

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Dalmation Bellflower

This plant grows on walls and has purple flowers which i will take a picture of soon.

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Southernwood

Southernwood

An aromatic plant with a saucy background. Known as ‘lad’s love’ or ‘maid’s ruin’ (depending on your perspective), Southernwood is an aphrodisiac. Young men would rub it on their faces both to attract the ladies and to make their beards grow.  We will be doing some scientific field testing soon. Reports will follow.

The plant will help to ease menstrual obstruction and can be combined with Mugwort and Pennyroyal. It makes a relaxing addition to a bath and discourages moths from clothes (it was calle ‘garde-robe’ in French).

The old Welsh Physicians say “Take Southernwood, and pound it well, and add thereto some wine or old mead, strain well, and let the patient drink a portion thereof night and morning.” This was said to be a cure for those who talk in their sleep.

Southernwood yields a yellow dye from the twigs.

The plant likes rocky ground.

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