Friday, 10 July 2009

Two New Flowers

As the title suggests, I positively identified two species of plant this morning which are new to me. Firstly, a rather colourful flower growing on the side of the Nutbrook Trail to the South of Ilkeston. The Orange Hawkweed (Pilosella aurantiaca)
One of the Hawkweed genus, of which there are more than 400 'microspecies' in Britain alone. Belonging to the Daisey family, they are related to Sow-Thistles, Dandelions, etc. It is grown as an ornamental flower in some parts of the world, as the flowers are rather beautiful.
Secondly, a less colourful flower, but no less beautiful, the Marsh Valerian (Valeriana dioica).
A perennial plant with masses of creamy-white flowers, growing on waste land, wet meadows and path sides. Oils from the flowers of this plant, are used by the Bella Coola Indians of North America as a cure for baldness. The Cree Indians chewed the roots and rubbed them on their heads to cure a headache. Very useful!
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