Well; ‘all the proof is in the flower’ of course but you have to look close-up in order to see that as from a distance they will look similar!
Two beautiful illustrated websites are by Lizzie Harper and also see Wayne’s Word about Flower Terminology. A good flora is always helpful of course and you can find a recommended book list and links in my previous post on Cyperaceae. A website I often use, if you are regularly following my blog, is the Leicestershire and Rutland based Naturespot. This is a most useful, descriptive and active site showing many good photographs!
This family only has 2 genera: Juncus or Rushes and Luzula or Wood-rushes.
These maps are a useful feature as most plants used by us in one form or the other would be the common species anyway!
Rare species are not going to be used as food, medicine or building materials. Although saying this: they would have probably been collected and used as an ornamental plant by the Victorians, who loved unusual varieties such as can be found in the ferns for example.
But in the present day collecting of wild plants is a taboo! And of course which were common wild flowers then could now be very rare!
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 with gratitude by Mike Poulton unless stated.
Please use Jump-links in the Contents in order to get easier to the plant description on next page!
This is an important native plant which can be used to weave mats, baskets or any other implements as you can find out more on the next page and it even got edible and medicinal uses!
It is one of those plants which could feature in a real Ethnobotanical Garden instead of this virtual one to demonstrate all its uses it had in the past but could certainly be again in the future! Below some of the pictures taken by my friend on our recent adventure harvesting the Common Club-rush.
Most information is from specialist websites for which I provide the links for you to find more information and pictures of the plants. 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 or Mike Poulton unless stated.
Please use Jump-links in the Contents to easily find the different members of this large family!
The post in November 2018 explained all about the uses and stories behind the genus Papaver which includes the Common Poppy, Welsh Poppy and Opium Poppy.
To remind ourselves:
The Poppy family or Papaveraceae has 12 genera and is split into 2 Sub-families;
the Papaveroideae with 7 genera which includes Papaver.
and the Fumarioideae with 5 genera.
The Papaveroideae has 2 sepals, 4(-6) showy petals, and white or yellow latex.
The distinctive flowers of subfamily Fumarioideae are unique, but the two subfamilies are linked by intermediates (Stace).
Colour coding for easy reading is blue for general interest. Green for various uses of the plant and pink background for medicinal use or toxic warning!
This is just an educational blog on Ethnobotanical uses of plants and we can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects! Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Most of us love and/or hate the dandelion. Their en mass-flowering period is relatively short although it will carry on sending new flowers throughout the year. This post was my first plant about a member of the Asteraceae family back in July 2018!
It is probably the most useful native member so this is why it needs an entire post!
The following posts are all about the Asteraceae or Compositae as they used to be called:
The Campanulaceae or Bellflower family is another family with many useful ornamental garden varieties but also has several native species in the main genus Campanula as well as in the genera: Legousia, Hesperocodon (Wahlenbergia), Phyteuma, Jasione and Lobelia.
See on the next page for all the main species in this family and about their ethnobotanical uses. This blog cannot provide all the info, such as where you can find them, what soil conditions, etc. But this is why I provide the links of some other marvelous websites out there! Green background is for the usual Edible or Wildlife uses and pink background for Medicinal uses.Blue background for ‘Interesting facts’ , although I hope you find all my information interesting!
Campanula spp. or Bellflowers
There are 5 native species (number 1-5) and 4 introduced/garden escapes which are often much more abundant than the native species.
This week another pretty and mostly common native ‘weed’ which can even be useful! It easily could have been called the ‘Geranium’ family instead of Crane’s-bill family as the genus Geranium is its largest member here!
But the genus Erodium, has also several native species on the B.I. and has a fruit similar to a stork’s bill.
So what is the difference in those bird bills to give these plants their common name?
Found this information online from Bird expert Quentin Kalis. “The easiest way is to look at the bill; storks have large heavy bills and cranes have short bills.” Herons have intermediate bills between the two, and you can see pictures of those birds in the link here.
A few native Geranium and Erodium species are ‘useful’ for us people. Various insects find the plants a good food source. Below is the contents of all the species described on the next page and which are native according to Stace.