Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Iris

The flora of the Nottingham Canal appears to be not so varied as that of Shipley Park, but there are one or two happy exceptions to this rule. Perhaps the most colourful exception being the Yellow Iris which are in full bloom at the moment. Large stands of these showy blooms adorn the waters edges - where the water still remains.

These yellow iris or 'Yellow Flag' (Iris pseudacorus) spread by way of their rhizomes (underground stems) and by distributing their seeds on the water. Used to growing in the mud of the waterside in oxygen-free conditions, they can also cope for short periods of drought.

Yellow Iris have been used as water treatment agents as they take up heavy metals from the water. They have been used in herbal medicine as an emetic or vomit inducer!

Strange that something so beautiful can be seen as 'vomit-inducing'. But on a sunny day with the golden-yellow flowers shining against a calm, watery backdrop, there can be few more delightful scenes.
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