I’ve been walking in Frankendael with Elodie today, we found heaps of herbs, several new to us. If you’d like to join me for a herb walk there are a few spaces left for the Sunday May 27th Amstel to Frankendael walk. Here are some striking examples from today…
Solomon’s Seal looks rather like an enormous version of Lily of the Valley so I always steer clear of it. I have always thought of Lily of the valley as a poisonous plant so lethal that I shouldn’t even go near it. Upon reading about it last night I learned that it is called the herbalist’s Digitalis. It has a potent specific effect on heart muscles, causing them to open and fill more intensely and to raise blood pressure. It is thus lethal in even small doses and is not a herb of interest to me. However this arching beauty of the woods is very interesting. Solomon’s seal is used to make traditional remedies for many ailments, ranging from speeding muscle and bone healing, to menopausal symptoms, diabetes, acne and other skin afflictions. The native Americans reportedly ate it frequently.
I was thrilled to turn a corner in the wood today and be greeted by this scene:
It is difficult for a photograph to do it justice – especially one of mine! Here is Hawthorn arching over a swathe of Solomon’s seal and Wild garlic, all three in flower at the same time.
Other herbs of note today…
Below, endangered Hoary Plantain (Plantago media). I first saw this herb last year and remember not really knowing what it was, although it was obviously some kind of plantain, but wanting to hide it and protect it from trampling feet! Of course I couldn’t and this plant is well adapted to living in well trodden locations. However, should you find it, especially in a week or two when it’s flower stalk will look like some sort of moth-plant hybrid, then please don’t touch it. I hope that this one has a chance to set seed.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Endangered Greater burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis)