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Botany Group - 16 August Outing

by Margaret - 13:57 on 19 August 2016

Botany Group - 16th August 2016



by Margaret

8 folk met on a beautiful sunny day at the lay-by on the south side of Loch of Hundland. Wellies were donned before we explored the vegetation between the road and the loch. Unfortunately it was too wet to wade to the loch edge to find bur-reed and the valerian which in July colours this area with its pale pink fragrant blossoms was past its best, the dominant colour being provided by the heathers.

After the marshy areas we admired the roadside verges, where the most common plant was grass of parnassus, then walked the cow-churned-up track to the plantation, negotiating a chained gate and electric wiring en route. In the plantation we noted the gale damage to the trees, as indeed we'd seen on all vegetation.

Plants seen:-

Meadowsweet, red and white clover, orchid sp, autumn hawkbit, marsh cinquefoil, ragwort, soft rush, tormentil, silverweed, lesser spearwort, sorrel, field horsetail, ling, bell heather, crowberry, common cotton grass, lousewort sp, devil's-bit scabious, angelica, flag iris, sneezewort, yellow rattle, buttercup, self-heal, ragged robin, forget-me-not sp, milkwort, spear thistle, marsh willowherb, broadleaved willowherb, greater birdsfoot trefoil, common birdsfoot trefoil, water mint, marsh marigold, tea-leaved willow, raspberry, valerian, bog pimpernel, tufted vetch, meadow vetchling, eyebright sp, dockan, mouse-eared chickweed, common chickweed, pineappleweed, bistort, groundsel, red dead nettle, stinging nettle, ribwort plantain

A few notes of interest:-

Culpeper refers to "sneezewort yarrow". The flowers were dried and used as snuff and the leaves chewed for toothache.

Valerian is used as a sedative, especially for hysteria, insomnia, muscle-spasm etc.

For those folk who haven't seen it, the current exhibition in Grooves is of interest and Tim Dean's "The Orkney Book of Wildflowers" gives brief descriptions of the medicinal use of some plants.

Thank you all for an enjoyable day in warm weather - a real treat!  M.

Advantage - Wellies!

Bog Pimpernel

Greater Birdsfoot Trefoil

Wind Burnt Trees at Durkadale


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