Thursday, 4 August 2011

Odd Wildflowers

 I suppose Red Bartsia is probably familiar to most farmers as a weed, but I've never noticed it before.
It was once regarded as a cure for toothache, its scientific name Odontites verna reflects this, odons being  Greek for tooth. It is semi-parasitic on the roots of grasses, so can survive in areas of low fertility.
It is a relative of the Foxglove, in the photo its seed pods look very similar. Carder bees and  a type of solitary bee feed on red bartsia.

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