Wednesday, 29 June 2011

New ticks

Two new ticks for my plants 'life-list' this morning.  Firstly a plant which I have seen before, but only positively identified this morning.  It was a Hedge Bedstraw (Gallium mullugo Now called Gallium album).  Tiny-flowered and sprawling about in the grasses, it made up for it's lack of flower size, by sheer numbers.
Secondly, another small, white flower, but this time not produced in such numbers.  Fairy Flax (Linum catharticum).  Sprawling again amongst the lower plants at the side of the footpath, this one needed to have a closer look and took some identifying.
For such a delightful little plant, it has a chequered past.  It used to go by the name of Purging Flax - which gives some idea of it's use!  Purging flax was often used in the past as a gentle laxative, and also for the treatment of muscular rheumatism, liver complaints, jaundice and catarrhal problems.  It is no longer used in modern herbalism however, a homeopathic remedy is made from the plant. It is used in the treatment of bronchitis, piles and amenorrhoea.  What a handy little flower!
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