Saturday, 8 May 2010

Hairy!

A couple of 'hairy' moments this morning from our walks around the countryside over the past few days. It being a dull, wet, cold and thoroughly miserable day today, we have had no walk, so it's time to fall back on better times.
Firstly a familiar plant, the White Deadnettle (Lamium album) is common all over Britain and at this time of year, they brighten our highways and byways with their hairy, white flowers. Known as deadnettles because they have no stinging hairs, they were well-liked by us as children because, if you pick the flowers and put the tube-shaped end of them to your lips, you can get a taste of sweet nectar. Be careful if you try this, that the flowers are well away from where any dogs might have passed!!!
Another hairy individual next. This plant was seen growing among the debris of the old West Hallam Colliery and as yet, is still not in flower. The Great or Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is extremely hairy, so much so that it looks as if it is made of felt.
Mullein has many medicinal qualities not least of which is it's ability to cure coughs and a variety of skin conditions.
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