Archive: August 2013

Round leaved Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia)

A rare insectivorous plant, also known as Moor-gloom in Yorkshire, Oilplant in Ireland, Red rot in Scotland and Flycatcher in Devon. the latter reflecting its ability to catch prey by using fine hairs on its leaves tipped with fluid, which resembles a dew drop. the ‘dew’ was thought to be good for the heart. By relaxing the muscles of the respiratory tract, it eases breathing and relieves wheezing for sufferers of asthma, whooping cough and bronchitis. Externally the leaves were used to treat corns and warts, and reduce freckles and sunburn. Lancastrians called it youthwort, as it was a key ingredient in a youthful elixir called Rosa Solis. it has a reputation as an aphrodisiac, and apparently ‘makes cattle lusty’. Known as a love charm for its ability to lure insects it was secreted in girls clothing by amorous men. The ancient Celts used it as a hair dye, it was valued in the Highlands for ridding the hair of lice.

Posted in Mountain Flora & Fauna

Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)

Probably called hare-, or hair-, bell because of its delicate stem, rather than because it grows where hares frequent! it is the bluebell of Scotland, known there as Gowk’s thimbles, or Fool’s thimbles and Aul’ mans bell, the flower is to be regarded with dread, and certainly never to be picked. To counteract this myth, it also had a pious name, Our lady’s thimble. the root was once chewed to alleviate heart and lung problems, and infusions and decoctions helped treat sore ears and eyes. in the language of flowers it is a symbol of humility and constancy, but also considered a symbol of prosperity. there is a common belief that by wearing it one is compelled to tell the truth.

Posted in Mountain Flora & Fauna

Yellow loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris)

Yellow loosestrife also known as Willow-wort, for the willow like leaves, Yellow saugh and Yellow baywort. The genus name is from the Greek lusimachion, ending strife. it was thought to end strife between horses and oxen yoked to the same plough. Medicinally it was much valued as an antiseptic for the sexual organs, and as a wound cure that staunched the bleeding. in Ireland it was applied as a poultice to sore throats. Country people burned it in their houses to deter gnats, flies and snakes!

Posted in Mountain Flora & Fauna

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