Tag Archives: Cowslip

Hanky Panky

Ha! I have heard it said that “the Devil makes work for idle hands,” maybe he does, I don’t know about that. Today we are going to talk about Monkey Business, of the botanical kind.

I just want to mention the star of today’s show.

NicholasPretending to be Old Nick himself, this beautiful little innocent is one of our ASBO lambs. Born into the wild, this one has survived. I just met him about an hour ago and I was struck by his inner beauty.

I wish he was mine ūüôā

Let’s talk about flowers (and hanky panky)

Primroses are lovely.

PrimroseNo question about that.

The Cowslip is so tall and strong.

CowslipHandsome even, that is just another word for beautiful.

Cowslip

CowslipBut…

Should we leave them alone together?

I don’t know how much that you know about the birds and the bees but if you leave Primroses and Cowslips alone together then there is a very fair chance that they will get up to Hanky Panky.

False OxlipThis is a flower called the False Oxlip, real Oxlips are very rare and a species in their own right. A False Oxlip is the result of a liaison between a Primrose and a Cowslip. We are not here to judge.

False Oxlip

False Oxlip

False OxlipIt seems to me to be a very beautiful offspring.

His mum was not what I would call a looker.

ASBO mumBut I noticed his sister.

SisterBeautiful animals.

Hazel & Co.

Yesterday, I couldn’t help noticing that the catkins had opened and that coincided with my latest flower post, so that is my theme for today.

Hazel Catkin(Hazel)

That is the male flower. Like a lot of hermaphrodite plants  the female flowers open after the male catkins, a clever ruse to avoid self  pollination and it will be weeks before we see any of these little red flowers.

Hazel flowerThe thing that I don’t get is that all of our local trees operate on the same time scale. All off the male flowers will start to open now and distribute their pollen and it will be a month before we see a single female flower. What a waste!

Hazel FlowerWe would get a lot more Hazel nuts if the trees could get their act together.

Never mind, on with the theme ūüôā

Fiver

Blackberry(Blackberry)

Dandelion(Dandelion)

Germander Speedwell(Speedwell)

Strawberry(Strawberry)

Holly(Holly)

Bluebell(Bluebell)

Scabious(Scabious)

Deep breath…

Rabbit

Scarlet Pimpernel(Pimpernel)

Willow(Willow)

Cellandine(Celandine)

Black Nightshade(Nightshade)

Dog Violet(Violet)

Lesser Clover(Clover)

Silverweed(Silverweed)

Betony(Betony)

Cowslip(Cowslip)

There’s too many! I can’t go on.

Okay.

Nose in the Air(Nose-In-The-Air)

Marsh Marigold(Kingcup)

Groundsel(Groundsel)

Thistle(Thistle)

Red Campion(Campion)

Wood Avens(Avens)

Wild Marjoram(Marjoram)

Coltsfoot(Coltsfoot)

Snowdrop(Snowdrop)

Red Bartsia(Bartsia)

Ragwort(Ragwort)

I have to stop there. There are loads more but I’ve still got to do the General.

Sorry Rabbits.

Rabbits

Stachys sylvatica, The Hedge Woundwort

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)Hedge Woundwort is native to Europe and much of Asia, it can be found all over the UK with the exception of the Scottish Highlands.

A woodland plant it is most commonly found in woodland edge and hedgerow habitat. It is a member of the Mint family and sometimes called a  Dead-nettle, although this one is not a Lamium.

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)Purple flowers grow in whorls above a pair of opposite leaves. The flower spike can be a metre tall.

The stem is very distinctive , being square and hairy with well defined purple corners.

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica) Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)   Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)   Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica) The leaves grow in opposite pairs up the stem, there is no basal rosette. They are heart shaped and hairy, with sharply toothed edges and grow on long flattened stalks.

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica) Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)   Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)   Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica) The leaves have an unpleasant smell when crushed, possibly a defence against being eaten.

The flowers take the form of a tubular corolla emerging from a calyx of five pointed sepals. They have a hood and a three lobed bottom lip.

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)Each flower contains four stamens and a single style.

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)The bottom lip of the purple flower is marked with white.

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)Woundwort also has it’s own bug.

Woundwort ShieldbugThe Woundwort Shieldbug (Eysarcoris venustissimus) is usually found on Hedge Woundwort but occasionally on other Dead-nettles such as White Dead-nettle.

Woundwort ShieldbugIf you have Woundwort growing near you then it is well worth keeping an eye open for these attractive little bugs.

Woundwort ShieldbugWoundwort is pollinated by insects and it is a favourite of Bees. It also spreads from underground runners.

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)As the name suggests Woundwort has long been used in herbal medicine as a cure for almost anything. It is said to be particularly useful to stop bleeding and in the field a few leaves can be applied to a cut as a plaster, it is said to be effective.

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)Taxonomy

Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Lamiales

Family: Lamiaceae

Genus: Stachys

Species: Stachys sylvatica

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)Wildflowers in winter.