Friday, 15 July 2011

A fillip of Dittany

Coincidence..... this week two Philips pointed me to a plant that I've been searching for - Dittander. For the past few years I've looked for it in vain around the bleakness of Sandwich Bay, and then within a couple of days of each other Phil Milton and Phil Green (of the WCCP) brought different plants to my attention.

The former is by the garage pools north of Sandwich Bay, and the latter by the railway line at Folkestone Warren. What's more scary is that neither knew I was looking for it! I expect the Pigswill Botany Annual will carry a report this year.

So this begs the question - is the plant spreading? According to Dr Philp's atlas, that could be so.

One of the reasons I had been searching for it was that it figures in Gerard's Herbal, as a remedy against the stinging of serpents, under the nice name of Dittany which I assume is of French rather than Germanic derivation.

Reading Gerard, I noticed that Borage gives a fillip..... Those of our time do use the floures in salades, to exhilerate and make the mind glad... driving away all sadnesse, dulnesse, and melancholy. I'll have some of that!

Another reason for walking aimlessly around Sandwich Bay at the moment is to follow the Open golf. This we did yesterday, and very pleasant it was too. For an introduction to the area (from the air) and to see Kingsdown's rifle range, there's a helpful clip from the BBC: at about the 1:30 minute mark.

And the Royal and Ancient (no, not Tom Watson) provide a guide to the precautions taken to protect wildlife in this fragile habitat.

We saw a hare (and hare's foot clover), and the skylarks, meadow pipits and corn buntings ignored the "Quiet" signs.


Mel Lloyd said...

Fillips from Philips. Very neat.

Greenie said...

Steve ,
Pleased you got one of two species that you were after .
Drove very close to that Sneezewort the other day , but didn't have time to detour .
Must look out for that Annual at Christmas .

Frippery noodlings said...

Hi Steve. When I mentioned your quest to Francis (without whom I wouldn't have even known of this plants existence) he said it was a 'common plant' so I would presume it has been kicking around the area un-noticed for many years? I will check next time I see him and get back to you? I stumbled across a few more sprigs of Dittander yesterday - south of the sea wall on the hover port apron. Happy 'plant lookin' mate ... Phil.

Kingsdowner said...

Did you like that, Mel? Smooth eh?

Fred, I recommend Phil's Annuals......

and talking of whom, thanks Phil for acting as Francis' mouthpiece. He may reckon that it's common, but Philp's atlases describe it as Rare (1982) and Scarce (2010). Anyway, I was pleased to see it at last.

garden tweeny said...

Borage tisane can be called 'bold' tea as it give sencouragement to a sagging soul...