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Species Notebook:

  • Agrimony

    • Agrimony: Just what the doctor ordered

      Post date: Wednesday, 23 July, 2014 - 00:00

      I have mentioned the apparent feature of waves of colour through the flowering season many times before. Yellows at first followed by whites, then the blues, mauves and pinks of the early summer flowers and then in late summer we begin to see the predominant colour move back to yellow. It is a sure sign of high summer when agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria) starts to blossom.

      Surprisingly, perhaps, this is a member of the rose family, each individual flower up the central spike having five petals opening flat into a small rosette. In flower from late June on through August and September, sometimes even in to November, these attractive yellow flower spikes can be seen along our roadsides, hedgerows, grasslands, and scrubby areas where the soil is inclined to being dry and chalky and there are plenty of areas like that in Dorset. 

      My good friend Wikipedia says that agrimony has a long history of medicinal uses and apparently was thought to be ideal for foot baths for tired feet! In different countries it has different uses from treating gall-bladder, liver and kidney disorders to treating eye ailments. There was a concoction in the middle-ages called musket-shot water, a tea made made from the leaves which was considered a real tonic!


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