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Author Topic: Anyone any idea what this weird looking plant is?!  (Read 15899 times)

wildandwooly

  • Joined Feb 2021
Re: Anyone any idea what this weird looking plant is?!
« Reply #30 on: April 12, 2021, 01:47:41 pm »
 :roflanim: :hug:

wildandwooly

  • Joined Feb 2021
Re: Anyone any idea what this weird looking plant is?!
« Reply #31 on: April 12, 2021, 05:15:26 pm »
Found out bit more info...
"The sex of Butterbur florets is complex, some florets seemingly being composed of sterile bits of the opposite sex
The flowers of the male plant are larger (7-12mm) than those of the female plant (3-6mm), but the situation is reverse regarding the height of the plants; the females are taller. It is likely that it is only native where both sexes occur together"
Going to wait a bit and see which I've got here...or both! Apparently the female plant is taller but has less flowers, it's reversed for the male plants - shorter but more flowers. I'll let you know 😄

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Anyone any idea what this weird looking plant is?!
« Reply #32 on: April 12, 2021, 11:10:52 pm »

I found a couple of possible explanations of the patches of monastic butterburs:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/earth/story/20150414-the-beautiful-butterbur-blooms


https://scotlandsnature.blog/2016/03/16/species-of-the-month-the-butterbur/

I most like the idea in the Scottish blog, that the male flowers, which provide both pollen and nectar, were planted in southern areas of Britain for the sake of honey bees.  This was before sugar was grown from beet and cane, so honey was used for all sweetening, so feeding the bees was important.
So the areas where both male and female flowers are found are the only truly native plants.


So your patches are likely to have both sexes wildandwooly, being in the north so likely to be native, unless you live near an ancient monastery where they were into apiculture and introduced the male plants only  :thinking:
« Last Edit: April 12, 2021, 11:30:25 pm by Fleecewife »
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Anyone any idea what this weird looking plant is?!
« Reply #33 on: April 12, 2021, 11:42:36 pm »


So then I thought 'I wonder if the patches of butterbur are related to where there were monasteries before the dissolution?  THis is another possible explanation I came across:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheHerbalCommunityProject/permalink/3926586660753466/


However, I don't really go for the rather vague and simplistic idea of plants used to treat disease being chosen because they look like the disease, or the body part, or they have some other obscure connection.  I don't think the successful healers of the past were so unskilled.
I prefer the idea of butterbur being used to feed the bees.  Perhaps the monks and nuns used the honey to treat the black death.....


Incidentally, when I referred to 'the patches of monastic butterburs' in my previous message, I simply meant that they were all male, but that set off the idea that monasteries were the most probable places to have had the resources and need to introduce butterbur as a bee feed plant. I suppose it's an indication that my brain still works sometimes (can you guess that I'm fast approaching a certain birthday which is making me feel terribly terribly OLD :o :o :o )
« Last Edit: April 12, 2021, 11:48:15 pm by Fleecewife »
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

wildandwooly

  • Joined Feb 2021
Re: Anyone any idea what this weird looking plant is?!
« Reply #34 on: April 13, 2021, 07:19:05 pm »
No monasteries round here ancient or otherwise  :D

Thanks for the links Fleecewife - really interesting.
It'll certainly be interesting to see if they are both male + female  :). Photos to follow.....!

I also found out that butterbur is good for migraines but I'm not about to test that one out!  :roflanim:

 

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