Monday, 20 July 2015

Welds and Caps

With such an abundance of flowers to enjoy at the moment, it's often tricky to chose what to photograph. But two have certainly caught my eye over the past week or so. The first going by the curious name of Weld (Reseda luteola). This plant is closely related to the fragrant Mignonette and has been used as a source of a rich yellow dye for at least 3000 years, possibly longer than Woad. It's also thought that it was mixed with the blue dye of Woad to produce Lincoln Green - supposedly, Robin Hood's colour of choice.
The second flower to mention is a much smaller and less obvious. Found growing around some of the fishing points around Mapperley Reservoir, this is a blue flower called Skullcap (Scutellaria galericulata).
The attractive little flowers are rather hairy like many other members of the Mint family, to which this belongs.
The scientific name 'galericulata' means 'hooded', in reference to the individual flowers having a hooded appearance. The leaves can be dried and either made into a tea or smoked in a pipe, as an anti-anxiety drug.  Just the thing I need..!
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