Wonderful Weed weekly update!

Wild Strawberry flowering in May along an old shady wall.

As some of my loyal readers may have noticed, it has been several weeks ago when I did my last post on the very large Asteraceae family!

Unfortunately you may have to wait till I am getting a lot less busy, with all my activities in and around my professional gardening..

Hopefully will see you back in several months time as there are many families and genera still not written about in my Virtual Etnobotanical Garden….

Will also attempt to rewrite some of the older blogs as several pictures have disappeared and I can’t add those back in as there is now a new editing version of WordPress.

Are Salvias hardy?

You might be wondering are salvias hardy? Hopefully this post will answer all your questions.

Salvias are a fashionable plant as they seem to have been popping up in recent years in your local garden centre, on markets and even in your local supermarkets.They are showy and very colourful, come in reds, pinks and purples and as a salvia collector and salvia lover I’ve noticed that in this very large group of plants many varieties are either towards the red and others are totally on the other scale; towards the blue of the spectrum, and then obviously all those colours in between as well as the whites, greys and pastel-shades in between!

They are very seductife as the colours are shouting out; buy me!

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Salvia Chapter 8 Salvias from Ashwood and Robin!

Salvia ‘Moonlight Over Ashwood’ has unusual yellow-green variegated foliage making the plant attractive even when not in flower!

Last week I wrote about the purchase of my first few salvias for my new venture: Yoke’s Magic Salvias. These first few salvias were particularly important for me as they were some cuttings of my Rodbaston-named varieties, which I had been worried about that they might have gone extinct forever..

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The Sapindaceae or Maple family.

The pendulous flowers of the Sycamore in early spring with fresh palmate leaves.
All pictures by Matt Summers

The Sapindaceae is a large family (number 72 in Stace) but in Britain it is represented by only “3 genera of totally different appearance” (Stace, 370). He mentions Acer, Aesculus and Koelreuteria. Only one of those genera and one species is native and the genus Acer is what gives the Sapindacea it’s common name, ‘the Maple family’.

In the Wild Flower Key it is still called the Aceraceae and only the 3 most common Acers are mentioned here, while the Horse Chestnut, now also in the Sapindaceae, has his ‘old’ own family here too; the Hippocastanaceae.

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Yoke’s Magic Salvia’s Nursery is growing and Wollerton Old Hall visit!

My ‘hot’ bench: complete with new sand and cloche windows!




Thought I’d do an update of the progress we are making with building up my collection of Salvias since a few weeks ago.

Our first few salvias came from Wollerton Old Hall, near Market Drayton in Shropshire. As well as a magnificent garden to visit in the season, they also have a nursery, propagating and selling specialist plants from their garden with approx 90 different varieties of salvias as well as a good number of Iris, Phlox and Cupheas.

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continue Apiaceae post!

You may have noticed I am in the new editing style of Gutenberg now? I ran into difficulty editing my latest post last week, as you may have noticed so I decided to do the bottom information again into a new post. Last time I mentioned mostly the edible uses of the Umbels so below you’ll find the other, mostly medicinal uses I found..

Wild Angelica, a native and less harsh one then its garden relative, see below

Most of the below information is of the brilliant book by Julian Barker: Med Flora by J. Barker

Medicinal (and some other) Uses:

Sanicle or Sanicula europaea  The name comes from the Latin ‘to heal’ and ‘healthy’. It was a plant valued by the School of Salerno and throughout the Middle Ages and beyond. Not used in modern medicine. Action is Astringent and haemostatic. Anti-inflammatory. Carminative. Expectorant and antitussive. Uses: Gastro-enteritis, especially with suspected ulceration or occoult bleeding. Flatulence. Diarrhoea. Respiratory and urinary infections. Leucorrhoea. Metritis and menorrhagia (In the past was fed to cows after calving to aid expulsion of afterbirth and to stop bleeding) Externally: for healing varicose and other ulcers, haemorrhoids, bruises, chilblains, skin rashes. As a mouthwash for sore gums, etc. or sre throat (gargle)

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the other useful Umbellifers in the Apiaceae Family!

the Wild Carrot is a typical Umbellifer

Last week the Ground-elder was fully covered in my blog for all its useful attributes and this week I hope to tackle all the remaining ones in the last family of all the Dicot families in Stace.

This is Family 138. Family 139 starts with the Monocots.

It is a large family with 50 genera although many genera have just the one native species and only a few having a small number. 

Several of our root vegetables and herbs belong to this family, although these are cultivated varieties, not always native (NN in list below) to the British Isles. I would as an exception like to talk about those towards the end of the blog as they are fascinating to me and hopefully to you too. You can also follow the links below their names to find out more about their edibility (often as flavouring or herb) and medicinal uses. I’ve used Wikipedia a lot again as they have such valuable information about the individual species about their uses.

I’ve always liked this family, it is easily recognisable, especially the second subfamily, which are the true ‘Umbels’.

Continue reading “the other useful Umbellifers in the Apiaceae Family!”