Agrimony Agrimonia eupatoria Fragrant Agrimony Agrimonia procera
In June this plant’s upright bright yellow flowers brighten up field margins, road verges and hedgerows.
The name Agrimony may be from the Greek word meaning ‘wild flower of the field’ or ‘spot on the eye’.
The Latin ‘eupatoria’ may be connecting the plant to King Mithradates Eupator who resisted the roman conquest of Asia minor in the first century BC.
Agrimony is a delightful plant that is a common sight on the chalk downland near where I live.
Its flowers attract many insects seeking its nectar including bees. Its fruits will hook onto animal fur to aid distribution.
I could not describe the plant better than Cicely Mary Barker in the following verse:
Spikes of yellow flowers, all along the lane;
When the petals vanish, burrs of red remain.
First the spike of flowers, then the spike of burrs;
Carry them like soldiers, smartly, little sirs!
A plant that is well worth harvesting, it lifts the spirits making an invigorating tea for many complaints from aching joints and sore throats and as a good summer tonic.
Please do not harvest without expert advice or help from a qualified herbalist.
Agrimony is also an old remedy for poor sight, loss of memory, snake bite and liver complaints. It can also help with coughs, skin eruptions, cystitis and is soothing for the vocal chords taken as a stimulating tea.
Fragrant agrimony is a larger more branched species with fragrant leaves which you will tend to find on more acid soils on woodland margins.
Agrimony in folklore stands proud inviting us to let go of our guilt and shame, to speak up and connect with the elemental realms. Its stem is known as fairy's wand or fairy's rod so at the time of the Solstice who knows what magic it may weave!
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Poetry of flowers
Join me to explore the flora of the British Isles on this blog. My intention is to attempt to capture the unique quality and beauty of each species of flower, tree or shrub. For every species featured I will be growing many more wildflowers to celebrate the joy of their existence, their intrinsic conservation value and bewildering array of uses. For nearly 30 years I have noted, studied and explored wildflowers in the field much to the patience of the walker beside me. To share this passion is a heartfelt plea to respect, preserve and care for all British Wildflowers no matter how common they seem.