Saturday, 31 May 2014

Wood avens - a great coloniser

This modest little yellow flower is one of the most prolific in our recently coppiced section of woodland.  It's very good at spreading its seeds by means of the little hooks attached to them which will catch in the fur of any passing animal or human.
Photo - East London Nature
Wood Avens is its most poetic name but it is also known as Herb Bennet because it was associated with St Benedict who founded the Benedictine order of monks.  This gave it magical powers to repel evil spirits and it used to be hung over doorways to keep the devil out.
Although it is a Geum (Geum urbanum), a genus with many pretty, cutivated flowering species, to gardeners it is known as a very persistent weed.  And 'weed' is what we often call plants which are successful at multiplying and spreading.

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