Thursday, 7 August 2014

Redshank

To any birdwatchers, the title of today's post will bring to mind, an attractive, red-legged wading bird.  But the Redshank I refer to today is not of the avian type, but a plant found growing along the old West Hallam Railway lines this morning.  Sometimes called Redleg, the Redshank (Persicaria maculosa) is a common member of the Knotweed family.
Medicinally, the Redshank has been used as a remedy for diarrhoea and as a treatment for infections.  The young leaves and shoots can also be eaten as a leaf vegetable.
The other flower to catch our attention today, was the Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris).
Sometimes called Butter and Eggs because of the colour of the flowers, the individual blooms look like small Snapdragon flowers, indeed Snapdragons were once listed as members of the same family (the scrophulariaceae), but they have recently been placed into the Plantain family.  Back to the Toadflax and these delightful yellow-flowered plants have been used as a diuretic and laxative as well as a remedy for Dropsy, Jaundice and Enteritis.  Very useful!
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