Thursday, 30 July 2009

Things that groweth in Bogs

Between the showers, a trip to the recently-renamed Hothfield heathlands.
Nicholas Culpepper wrote that sundew 'groweth in Bogs, and in wet places, and sometimes in moist woods'. The distilled water in wine is 'good for Diseases of the Lungs, as Pstisicks, Wheesing, shortness of breath, or the Cough' so if Tamiflu starts to run out, we know what to take instead.
Although heath spotted orchids and bog asphodel are over and only show as seed-spikes, there is plenty of other interest, and a number of plants new to me (I lead a sheltered life up here on the chalk). Cross-leaved heath looks good at the moment, and this below is apparently water mint. The crushed leaves smell very pungent.
While chatting to Ian, a local, he pointed out keeled skimmers and tiny lesser skullcap flowers.

Of a different scale in the adjacent woods is a small patch of Himalayan balsam which the managers must be looking at carefully, to see if it spreads and crowds out the indigenous plants.
Another introduction, though rather more popular, is sweet chestnut.... if we have a barbecue summer, maybe these will grow to edible size?


Greenie said...

Steve ,
Glad to see that you made it out across the mud and back for the Sundews .
I haven't found Skullcap for many a year now .

Anonymous said...

Hi Steve
Round-leaved sundews in Kent? I never knew. Wow, am green with envy. I'm enjoying the herbal quotes. I wonder how they ever even collected enough sundew to make a medicine? Next time I drive down to Dover I'll drop off there to have a look.

Kingsdowner said...

I hoped to see purple hairstreaks round the oaks, but no luck.

It's a great place, all the better for being totally unlike the rest of the county.
I'm currently halfway through a biography of NC that I found in a remaindered bin, and the quote on sundews was there at the right time.

Mary said...

The first one looks like a sea creature that escaped the ocean.