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Gipsywort: a G and T

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Gipsywort: a G and T

Gipsywort (Lycopus europaeus) is a member of the labiate family of plants which also include mints and deadnettles. The square stem, pointed nettle shaped leaves and small tubular flowers in whorls are so typical of this family.

Gipsywort loves damp ground and is usually found on stream banks, in drainage ditches and wet 'fen' areas from June through to September and is common in areas of Wareham Common.

It is another plant with folklore connections. Supposedly a remedy for just about every ailment that can beset us! It is also used as a die and the name comes from the belief that Romany people died their skin with it although that story remains totally unsubstantiated as far as I can ascertain. More likely it was used to die clothes. Apparently it smells like gin and tonic when crushed! 


 

 

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This is just my nature note: for lots more information including distribution maps, status charts, identification guidance and more photographs go to the species home page by clicking/tapping the icon