Sunday, 24 August 2014

Devil's Nettle

This morning's walk was dominated by the sight of an unusual plant.  Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a common enough plant and is frequently seen, growing along the footpaths and scrubby areas.  The plant usually has inflorescences of white flowers on a plant covered with feathery leaves but a couple of them this morning didn't have the normal, white flowers, but deep pink.
Yarrow has many common names.  In various places they are known as Nose-bleed plants, Old Man's Pepper, Soldier's Woundwort and of course, Devil's Nettle.
Most of these common names are derived from the plant having been use in times gone by, as a method of staunching the flow of blood and helping with the healing of wounds.
As the plant also contains Salicylic acid (a constituent of aspirin), it may also have proven useful in reducing pain from the wound. Very useful!
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