Uses of the Amaranthaceae or Goosefoot family

Amaranthaceae is a family of flowering plants commonly known as the amaranth family, in reference to its type genus Amaranthus. It now includes the former goosefoot family Chenopodiaceae and contains about 165 genera and 2,040 species in the world!

‘Good-King Henry’ or Chenopodium bonus-henricus growing at Portway Hill. This is an old perennial crop and can be grown as an alternative to spinach. (picture by Mike Poulton)

It is not an obviously attractive family but as always when you delve further in all those families there are some fascinating members!

In Stace, 12 genera are described of which many are introduced by accident through wool, soya bean waste, as birdseed and other sources.

The less common, introduced genera + species will briefly be mentioned on the next page as well as our more common, native species.

Click links of the plants in the contents below for more info and pictures from various websites. Scientific/Latin Name usually has a link from the Online Atlas of the British Isles and Irish Flora. Pink background means a warning (such as poisonous!) or medicinal use, green for edible, ornamental or other uses and blue for habitat where it can be found in B.I. , for interesting facts or for wildlife use. Pictures from Wikipedia or Mike Poulton and edited information mainly from PFAF and Wikipedia.

Contents:

Dysphania spp or Goosefoots

Dysphania botrys or Jerusalem oak goosefoot
D. ambrosioides or Jesuit’s tea

Chenopodium‘ spp. or Goosefoots

Chenopodium album agg. or Fat Hen
Chenopodium ficifolium or Fig-leaved goosefoot
Chenopodium vulvaria or Stinking Goosefoot
Chenopodium bonus-henricus or Good King Henry
Oxybasis glauca or Oak-leaved Goosefoot
Oxybasis rubra or Red Goosefoot
Oxybasis chenopodioides or Saltmarsh Goosefoot
Chenopodiastrum murale or Nettle-leaved Goosefoot
Chenopodiastrum hybridum or Maple-leaved Goosefoot
Lipandra polysperma or Many-seeded Goosefoot

Salicornia and Sarcocornia or the Glassworts

Salicornia ramosissima or Purple Glasswort
Salicornia procumbens agg or Yellow Glasswort
Salicornia europaea or Common Glasswort
Salicornia pusilla or One-flowered Glasswort
Sarcocornia perennis or Perennial Glasswort
Suaeda maritima or Annual Sea-blite
Suaeda vera or Shrubby Sea-blite
Salsola kali or Prickly Saltwort
Salsola tragus or Prickly Russian thistle

Atriplex spp. or Oraches

Atriplex prostrata or Spear-leaved Orache
A. praecox or Early Orache
A. patula or Common Orache
A. littoralis or Grass-leaved Orache
A. glabriuscula or Babington’s Orache
A. longipes or Long-stalked Orache
A. laciniata or Frosted Orache
A. portulacoides or Sea-purslane
A. pedunculata or Pedunculate Sea-purslane

Beta vulgaris or Sea Beet

and subsp. maritima: subsp. cicla; subsp. vulgaris

Amaranthus spp. or Pigweeds

Amaranthus retroflexus or Common Amaranth/Callaloo
A. hybridus or Green Amaranth, Callaloo
A. ozanonii (A. retraflexus x A. hybridus)
A. caudatus or Love-lies-bleeding
A. albus or White Pigweed

Continue reading “Uses of the Amaranthaceae or Goosefoot family”

The ‘Lily families’ and all their uses, Part 2: The divers Asparagaceae and small Melanthiaceae.

The Star-of-Bethlehem is one attractive and native member in the Asparagaceae (Picture by Matt Summers)

This and the previous post are about a number of native families which in the ‘Wild Flower Key’ are lumped together into the one Liliaceae but are in fact classified in different families according to Stace.

Again, similar to the previous post this has several good garden plants which have established themselves often very happily in the wild!

The debate of native and non-native and what to include in my blog will be more and more difficult in future as rare endemics will not be known by many and certainly should not be ‘used’ in any way! Common, ornamental plants will be more accessible to all and get established in the wild more and more for everybody to use! They will become in fact our new ‘weeds’!

Click links for more info and pictures of the plants from various websites. Scientific/Latin Name usually has a link from the Online Atlas of the British Isles and Irish Flora. Pink background means a warning (such as poisonous!) or medicinal use, green for edible or other uses and blue for habitat where it can be found in B.I. , interesting facts or wildlife use.

Contents are included to easily jump to right genus on next page!

Pictures with thanks by Matt Summers, Mike Poulton of Ecorecord and Wikipedia .

Contents:

ASPARAGACEAE – Asparagus family

Lily-of-the-Valley

  • Convallaria majalis or Lily-of-the-valley

Solomon’s -seals

  • Polygonatum multiflorum or Solomon’s- seal
  • Polygonatum x hybridum (P. multiflorum x P. odoratum) or Garden Solomon’s- seal
  • Polygonatum odoratum or Angular’s Solomon’s-seal
  • Polygonatum verticillatum or Whorled Solomon’s-seal

May Lily or Maianthemum bifolium

Ornithogalums

  • Ornithogalum pyrenaicum or Spiked Star-of-Bethlehem or Bath Asparagus
  • Ornithogalum umbellatum or Star-of-Bethlehem

Scilla or Squills

  • Scilla verna or Spring Squill
  • Scilla autumnalis or Autumn Squill

Bluebells

  • Hyacinthoides non-scripta or Bluebell
  • Hyacinthoides hispanica or Spanish Bluebell
  • Hyacinthoides x massartiana (= H. hispanica x H. non-scripta) or Hybrid Spanish Bluebell

Grape-hyacinth or Muscari neglectum

Asparagus

  • Asparagus prostratus or Wild Asparagus
  • Asparagus officinalis or Garden Asparagus

Butcher’s-broom or Ruscus aculeatus

Herb-Paris Family or MELANTHIACEAE

  • Paris quadrifolia or Herb-Paris
Continue reading “The ‘Lily families’ and all their uses, Part 2: The divers Asparagaceae and small Melanthiaceae.”

The ‘Lily families’ and all their uses, Part 1: Liliaceae, Amaryllidaceae, (Alliaceae) and Colchicaceae!

‘Snowdrops’ and Spring is on its way! These are part of the large Lily-family-see below (by Matt Summers)

This and the next posts are about a number of native families which in the ‘Wild Flower Key’ is lumped together into the one Liliaceae.

But according to Stace this family is split into several families.

This is what he has to say about it:

‘It has long been known that Cronquist‘s very broad Liliaceae should be subdivided, some of the segregate families belonging to different orders. This has now been confirmed by molecular data; the taxa in our flora should be divided into at least the 9 families recognised here.’

The debate of native and non-native and what to include in my blog will be more and more difficult in future as rare endemics will not be known by many and certainly should not be ‘used’ in any way. Common, ornamental plants will be more accessible to all and get established in the wild more and more for everybody to use! They will become in fact our new ‘weeds’!

Click the links for more info and pictures from various websites. Scientific/Latin Name usually has link from the Online Atlas of the British Isles and Irish Flora. Pink background means a warning (such as poisonous!) or medicinal use, green for edible, ornamental or other uses and blue for habitat where it can be found in B.I. , for interesting facts or wildlife use.

We start of with the Liliaceae then, which in fact only has Fritillaria meleagris and 3 native species which are all in the genus Gagea.

Contents:

Liliaceae:

The-Star-of-Bethlehems

  • Gagea lutea or Yellow Star-of-Bethlehem
  • Gagea bohemica or Early Yellow Star-of-Bethlehem
  • Gagea serotina (Syn. Lloydia  serotina) or Snowdon Lily

Fritillary

Fritillaria meleagris or Snake’s head Fritillary

Dog’s-tooth-violet

Erythronium dens-canis or Dog’s-tooth-violet

Tulips

  • Tulipa sylvestris or Wild Tulip
  • Tulipa gesneriana or Garden Tulip

Amaryllidaceae or Daffodil Family

The Allium or Onion Family (Alliaceae): 13 different varieties

  • Allium schoenoprasum or Chives
  • Allium ampeloprasum or Wild Leek or Babington’s Leek
  • Allium carinatum or Keeled Garlic
Allium cepa or Onion
  • Allium oleraceum or Field Garlic
  • Allium vineale or Wild Onion or Crow Garlic
  • Allium paradoxum or Few Flowered Garlic
Allium porrum or Leek
  • Allium roseum or Rosy Garlic
  • Allium sativum or Garlic
  • Allium scorodoprasum or Sand Leek or Rocambole
Allium ursinum or Wild Garlic/ Ramsons
  • Allium triquetrum or Three-cornered Leek

Snowflakes

  • Leucojum aestivum or Summer Snowflake
  • Leucojum vernum or Spring Snowflake

Snowdrops

  • Galanthus nivalis or Common Snowdrop
  • Galanthus elwesii or Greater Snowdrop
  • Galanthus ikariae or Ikaria Snowdrop
  • Galanthus plicatus and subsp byzantinus + subsp. plicatus or Pleated Snowdrop
  • Galanthus woronowii or Green Snowdrop

Daffodils

  • Narcissus pseudonarcissus or Wild Dafodill

Meadow Saffron

  • Colchicum autumnale or Meadow Saffron and Naked Lady
These ornamental lilies are not a native ! (Picture by Mike Poulton)
Continue reading “The ‘Lily families’ and all their uses, Part 1: Liliaceae, Amaryllidaceae, (Alliaceae) and Colchicaceae!”

The beautiful Iris family in the B.I.

Iris pseudoacorus or Yellow Flag is our best known member of the Iridaceae! (by Matt Summers)

The Iris family or Iridaceae, according to Stace has 15 genera but several genera are clearly escaped garden plants and not yet widely spread in the wild so will mainly mention the real natives and/or the more common introduced ones which are also described in the Wildflower Key.

They are more difficult to identify without flower as of course all have similar, strap-like leaves in various shades of green!

I use colour coding for easy reading! Blue background is general interesting info (although I hope you find it all interesting!!). Green is about all the uses except for medicinal uses or if there is a warning in which case I use a pink background. Pictures by Matt Summers (MS), Mike Poulton (MP) of Ecorecord and Wikipedia Commons

Please use Jump-links in contents to easily get to the various species on next page!

Contents:

Blue-eyed-grass (Sisyrinchium bermudiana)

Yellow Flag (Iris pseudoacorus)

Stinking Iris (Iris foetidissima)

Bearded Iris (Iris x germanica)

Wild Gladiolus (Gladiolus ilyricus)

Eastern Gladiolus (Gladiolus communis ssp. byzantinus)

Montbretia (Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora)

Sand Crocus (Romulea columnea)

Crocuses

Crocus chrysanthus, C. sieboldii and C. tommasinianus

Continue reading “The beautiful Iris family in the B.I.”

The Brassica family and their useful plants; Part 3

Cakile maritima or Sea Rocket as growing on the Lizard peninsula, Cornwall (Matt Summers)

Mostly the yellow flowered plants in the Brassica or Crucifer family were covered in the previous Part 2.

In Part 3, I will write about the pink and/or white flowered Crucifers which inhabit these Isles.

I follow the order of The Wild Flower Key as this has useful pictures which make identifying this somewhat unfamiliar and confusing family a lot easier!

I use the Online Atlas of the British and Irish Flora link on the First, italic, scientific names, so you can find out where it is likely to be found growing in the wild. You can also find other useful information here, especially its growing habitat and conditions!

On the Common Name link you can also find more information as well as useful pictures. Pictures in this post are by Matt Summers, Mike Poulton and sourced through Wikipedia Common with thanks.

Please use Jump-links in contents to read more about the individual genera & species on the next page!

Contents:

Group 5: Pink and/or white flowered Crucifers with elongated fruits.

Matthiola, Hesperis, Cakile & Lunaria
  • Matthiola incana or Hoary Stock
  • Matthiola sinuata or Sea Stock
  • Hesperis matronalis or Dame’s-violet
  • Cakile maritima or Sea Rocket
  • Lunaria annua or Honesty
Cardamine
  • Cardamine bulbifera or Coralroot
  • Cardamine pratensis or Cuckooflower (Lady’s-smock)
  • Cardamine flexuosa or Wavy Bitter-cress
  • Cardamine hirsuta or Hairy Bitter-cress
  • Cardamine impatiens or Narrow-leaved Bitter-cress
  • Cardamine amara or Large Bitter-cress
Rorippa
  • Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum or Water-cress
  • Rorippa microphylla or Narrow-fruited Water-cress
Arabis & Arabidopsis
  • Arabis hirsuta or Hairy Rock-cress
  • Arabis alpina or Alpine Rockcress
  • Arabis scabra or Bristol Rock-cress
  • Arabidopsis petraea or Northern Rock-cress
  • Arabidopsis thaliana or Thale Cress
Alliaria petiolata or Jack-by-the-Hedge/ Garlic Mustard
Draba & Drabella
  • Draba incana or Hoary Whitlowgrass
  • Draba norvegica or Rock Whitlowgrass
  • Draba aizoides or Yellow Whitlowgrass
  • Drabella muralis or Wall Whitlowgrass

Group 6: White flowered Crucifers with short fruits

Thlaspi
  • Thlaspi perfoliatum or Cotswold (Perfoliate) Penny-cress
  • Thlaspi caerulescens or Alpine Penny-cress
  • Thlaspi arvense or Field Penny-cress
Lepidium
  • Lepidium campestre or Field Pepperwort
  • Lepidium heterophyllum or Smith’s Pepperwort
  • Lepidium sativum or Garden Cress
  • Lepidium ruderale or Narrow-leaved Pepperwort
  • Lepidium draba or Hoary Cress
  • Lepidium latifolium or Dittander
Coronopus & Teesdalia
  • Coronopus squamatus or Swine-cress
  • Coronopus didymus or Lesser Swine-cress
  • Teesdalia nudicaulis or Shepard’s Cress
Capsella, Iberis, Erophila
  • Capsella bursa-pastoris or Shepard’s-purse
  • Iberis amara or Wild Candytuft
  • Erophila verna or Common Whitlowgrass
Cochlearia, Lobularia, Hornungia
  • Cochlearia officinalis agg or Common Scurvygrass
  • Cochlearia danica or Danish scurvygrass
  • Cochlearica anglica or English Scurvygrass/ Long-leaved Scurvygrass
  • Lobularia maritima or Sweet Alison
  • Hornungia petraea or Hutchinsia

Group 7: White flowered Crucifers with very large leaves

Crambe & Armoracia
  • Crambe maritima or Sea-kale
  • Armoracia rusticana or Horse-radish
Continue reading “The Brassica family and their useful plants; Part 3”

Index of Native Plant Families

Below a table of all the Native Plant Families I hope to write about in the coming future and links on all those families already covered. This will also be displayed on one of my pages, as it gets easily lost in between my posts!

The reasons for doing my blog is also best explained in these earlier posts:

Introduction to my ‘Wonderful Weed Weekly’ blog

My dream for an Ethnobotanical Garden in the British Isles

Here you can find my page that goes through the classification of all the Vascular plants based on Clive Stace’s New Flora of the British Isles 3rd Edition. I am still in the process of updating it to the latest 4th Edition.

Continue reading “Index of Native Plant Families”

The Brassica family and their useful plants; Part 2

In this post some more useful members of the Brassica or Crucifer family. It covers most of the yellow flowered ones!

Wild Cabbage at Old Harry Rocks, Dorset
Wild Cabbage growing near Old Harry Rocks in Dorset! (by Matt Summers)

Family 87: the Brassica, Crucifer or Cabbage Family, scientifically known as the Brassicaceae, has approx 52 genera according to Stace! Not all are strictly native but it is an important family for our well known vegetables such as all types of cabbages, radishes, and root vegetables such as Swedes and Turnips!

These are the plants I covered earlier in Part 1- just to give a small variety of useful Crucifers!

I use colour coding for easy reading! Blue background is general information about the plant from Online Atlas. Green is about all the uses except for medicinal uses or if there is a warning in which case I use a pink background. This time most pictures are from Wikipedia and illustrations by Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen , Johann Georg Sturm (Painter: Jacob Sturm) – Figures from Deutschlands Flora in Abbildungen at http://www.biolib.de, Public Domain as well as other illustrations as added in links.

Please use the Jump-links in the Contents in order to get easily to the plants described on next page!

Contents:

How to identify the Brassicas/Crucifers and the 7 main groups

Group 1: yellow flowered Crucifers with jointed fruits
Brassica
  • Brassica oleracea or Wild Cabbage
  • Brassica nigra or Black Mustard
  • Brassica rapa or Turnip
  • Brassica napus or Rape
COINCYA
  • Coincya monensis ssp. monensis or Isle-of-Man Cabbage
  • Coincya wrightii or Lundy Cabbage
SINAPIS
  • Sinapis alba subsp. dissecta or White Mustard
  • Sinapis arvensis or Charlock
Diplotaxis
  • Diplotaxis muralis or Annual Wall-rocket
  • Diplotaxis tenuifolia or Perennial Wall-rocket
Sisymbrium officinale or Hedge Mustard
Hirschfeldia incana or Hoary Mustard
Raphanus
  • Raphanus raphanistrum subsp. raphanistrum or Wild Radish
  • R. raphanistrum subsp. maritimus or Sea Radish
Group 2: yellow or orange flowered Crucifers with elongated fruits
Barbarea
  • Barbarea vulgaris or Winter-cress
  • Barbara stricta or Small-flowered Winter-cress
Erysimum cheiranthoides or Treacle-mustard
Descurainia sophia or Flixweed
Sisymbrium
  • Sisymbrium altissimum or Tall Rocket
  • Sisymbrium orientale or Eastern Rocket
Group 3: yellow flowers in erect racemes, petals very small compared with other yellow Crucifers.
RORIPPA
  • Rorippa sylvestris or Creeping Yellow-cress
  • Rorippa palustris or Marsh yellow-cress
  • Rorippa islandica or Northern Yellow-cress
  • Rorippa amphibia or Great Yellow-cress
ARABIS GLABRA OR TOWER MUSTARD
Erysimum cheiri or Wallflower
Isatis tinctoria or Woad
Group 4: yellow flowers and fruit not obviously composed of 2 parallel valves.
Rapistrum rugosum or Bastard Cabbage
Continue reading “The Brassica family and their useful plants; Part 2”

Ferns and all their uses Part 2

in Part 2 we continue with the:

TRUE’ or LEPTOSPORANGIATE FERNS

Several types of ferns on a shady bank in summer
Several types of ‘True’ ferns on a shady bank in summer!

This has 16 families described in Stace, and on the next page, we continue with family 10 to the last family 21, which all grow in the British Isles in various habitats.

I use colour coding for easy reading! Blue background is general interesting info (although I hope you find it all interesting!!). Green is about all the uses except for medicinal uses or if there is a warning in which case I use a pink background. Pictures by Matt Summers unless stated.

I added contents where you can jump to the correct fern family or genus on next page.

See for Part 1 here:

Classification of fern families in Stace:

Contents:

10 DICKSONIACEAETree fern Family

11 DENNSTAEDTIACEAE Bracken family

Pteridium aquilinum or Bracken

12 PTERIDACEAE Ribbon Fern family

  • Cryptogramma crispa or Parsley Fern
  • Anogramma leptophylla or Jersey Fern
  • Adianthum capillus-venerisor Maidenhair Fern
  • Pteris vittata and P. cretica or Ribbon Fern

13 CYSTOPTERIDACEAE

Gymnocarpium
  • Gymnocarpium dryopteris or Oak Fern
  • G. robertianum or Limestone Fern
Cystopteris
  • Cystopteris fragilis or Brittle Bladder-fern
  • C. diaphana or Diaphanous Bladder-fern
  • C. alpina or Alpine Bladder-fern
  • C. dickieana or Dickie’s Bladder-fern
  • C. montana or Mountain Bladder-fern

14 ASPLENIACEAE Spleenwort family

  • Asplenium scolopendrium (Syn. Phyllitis scolopendrium) or Hart’s-tongue Fern
  • A. adiantum-nigrum or Black Spleenwort
  • A. marinum or Sea Spleenwort
  • A. trichomanes or Maidenhair Spleenwort
  • A. ruta-muraria or Wall-rue
  • A. ceterach (syn. Ceterach officinarum) or Rustyback

15 THELYPTERIDACEAE Marsh Fern family

  • Thelypteris palustris or Marsh Fern
  • Phegopteris connectilis or Beech Fern
  • Oreopteris limbosperma or Lemon-scented Fern

16 WOODSIACEAE  or Woodsia family

  • Woodsia ilvensis or Oblong Woodsia
  • Woodsia alpina or Alpine Woodsia

17 ATHYRIACEAE Lady-ferns and allies

  • Athyrium filix-femina or Lady-fern
  • Athyrium distentifolium or Alpine Lady-fern

18 BLECHNACEAE – Hard-fern family

  • Blechnum spicant or Hard-fern
  • Blechnum penna-marina or Little Hard-fern
  • Blechnum cordatum or Greater Hard-fern

19 ONOCLEACEAE – Ostrich fern family

19A DAVALLIACEAE (for ornamental Davallia canariensis)

20 DRYOPTERIDACEAE Buckler-fern family

  • Cyrtomium falcatum or House Holly-fern
Polystichum
  • Polystichum setiferum or Soft Shield-fern
  • P. aculeatum or Hard Shield-fern
  • P. lonchitis or Holly-fern
Dryopteris or Buckler-ferns
  • Dryopteris oreades or Mountain Male-fern
  • D. filix-mas or Male-fern
  • D. affinis or Golden-scaled Male-fern
  • D. affinis ssp. cambrensis
  • D. affinis ssp. borreri
  • D. affinis ‘Cristata’
  • D. remota or Scaly Buckler-fern
  • D. aemula or Hay-scented Buckler-fern
  • D. submontana or Rigid Buckler-fern
  • D. carthusiana or Narrow Buckler-fern
  • D. dilatata or Broad Buckler-fern
  • D. expansa or Northern Buckler-fern

21 POLYPODIACEAE – Polypody family

  • Polypodium vulgare or Polypody
  • P. interjectum or Intermediate Polypody
  • P. cambricum or Southern Polypody
Continue reading “Ferns and all their uses Part 2”

Ferns and all their Uses Part 1

This is part 1 of all those ferns and fern- allies growing on the British Isles as well as many other countries in the temperate or even tropical world!

The fiddleheads of our Royal Fern are very ornamental and can be eaten as food!

Ferns flourished before all the flowering plants came on earth and still thrive in many niche areas all over the world.

It is a large and divers group and a short account of their classification follows on the next page. For each group there may be one or two important species which have some story to tell or ethnobotanical use!

Below is a lovely short poem about the Ferns, written for the former students of and by Ian Trueman, Emeritus Professor in Plant Ecology, University of Wolverhampton many years ago.

Ferns

When the green weeds rose from the sea

We, the great-leaved plants, were the last to raise our heads.

But we soon became perfect in the horsetail forests,

When the coal was being made in sun and steam.

And there, quiet under the bristle-leaved trees

We became perfect, as you see us now.

And quiet, and secret, and everlasting

We still unfold our ancient dance

Under the proud stems of our seed-borne sons.

Links are provided from various websites for you to look into each group or plant a bit further. Such as the Online Atlas of the British and Irish Flora, where you can find out exactly where it grows in the B.I. This time I used copies of prints of ‘The Ferns of Great Britain and Ireland’ as well as pictures sourced through Wikipedia Common. Medicinal uses from ‘The Medicinal Flora of Britain and Northwestern Europe’ by Julian Barker. But please note this is an educational blog only and going out harvesting rare plants is not advisable for use as medicine and should be left to a qualified herbalist! Pictures by Matt Summers unless stated.

You can listen to this radio play by Brett Westwood called Natural Histories: Ferns: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000b80h

General information and classification of Ferns:

The PTERIDOPHYTES or Ferns & Fern-allies have varied habit and leaf structure but are distinctive from the flowering plants in that they do not bare flowers but have spores and spore structures, which are an important identification feature.

The life cycle of the fern has two different stages;

  • sporophyte, which releases spores, and
  • gametophyte, which releases gametes.

Gametophyte plants are haploid, sporophyte plants diploid. This type of life cycle is called alternation of generations. To follow the life cycle of the fern, begin at number one in the diagram of this link.

Stace divides all the ferns and fern-allies into 4 informal large groups:

  • Lycophytes with 1) Lycopodiaceae – Clubmoss family 2) Selaginellaceae -Lesser clubmoss family and 3) Isoetaceae – Quillwort family
  • Eusporangiate ferns with 4) Ophioglossaceae- Adder’s tongue family
  • Calamophytes with 5) Equisetaceae – Horsetail family AND
  • Leptosporangiate ferns or True ferns with 16 families (see with entry there)

Please use the jump-links provided in the Contents to quickly get to the family you want on the next page.

Contents:

The LYCOPHYTES

1 LYCOPODIACEAE – Clubmoss family

Lycopodium clavatum or Stag’s-horn Clubmoss

2 SELAGINELLACEAE – Lesser clubmoss family

Selaginella selaginoides or Lesser Clubmoss

3 ISOETACEAE – Quillwort family

Isoetes lacustris or (Lake) Quillwort

The EUSPORANGIATE FERNS

4 OPHIOGLOSSACEAE – Adder’s-tongue family

Ophioglossum vulgatum or Adder’s-tongue

CALAMOPHYTES   or Horsetails

5 EQUISETACEAE – Horsetail family

The TRUE FERNS or LEPTOSPORANGIATE FERNS

6 OSMUNDACEAE or Royal Fern family

Osmunda regalis or Royal Fern

7 HYMENOPHYLLACEAE – Filmy-fern family

  • Hymenophyllum tunbrigense or Tunbridge Filmy-fern
  • H. wilsonii or Wilson’s Filmy-fern
  • Trichomanes speciosum or Killarney Fern

8 MARSILEACEAE – Pillwort family

Pillularia globulifera or Pillwort

9 SALVINIACEAE – Water fern family

Azolla filiculoides or Water Fern

9A CYATHEACEAE

Continue reading “Ferns and all their Uses Part 1”

Holly and its uses

As we are nearing the Christmas season, the Holly becomes more prominent.

Holly berries abundant (Picture by Stephan Hense in Wikipedia)

Somehow I am noticing their dark, glossy green appearance more when the other trees have lost their autumnal leaves.

Its scientific name is Ilex aquifolium and it is the only native species of the genus and Family Aquifoliaceae on the British Isles.

It is special as it is one of very few native evergreen trees.

The ‘other’ holly you may come across is the hybrid Ilex × altaclerensis, which was developed at Highclere Castle in Hampshire, England, in 1835.

This is a cross between  I. aquifolium and the tender species I. perado. It, and especially the ornamental cultivars of this garden species may occasionally escape by seed into nature but certainly not as common as our native Holly.

Holly is dioecious, meaning that there are separate male and female plants.

A flowering Holly (probably male)

Read more about this interesting evergreen native and all its uses on the next page.

I use colour coding for easy reading! Blue background is general interesting info (although I hope you find it all interesting!!). Green is about all the uses except for medicinal uses or if there is a warning in which case I use a pink background. Pictures by Mike Poulton unless stated.

Most information provided with thanks from Wikipedia and other websites.

Continue reading “Holly and its uses”