Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Brushes and Combs


July and 'tis Teasel time. Rather a striking architectural plant whatever the season it's very attractive to the bees as this time of year and many has been the time I've seen flocks of Goldfinches feasting on its desiccated heads in the colder months.

The old country name of "Brushes and Combs" harks back to when it was used to comb the wool or tease it [hence its more familiar name], but it's also been called Venus Basin in its time. The rainwater which collects in the cuplike formation of its leaves traditionally was thought to ease eye conditions.

Apparently in ancient Ireland this was the plant of choice for the first layer of the thatch and it crops up as the companion plant of the Germanic household Goddess Hulda. I've certainly seen it used in crafts and as part of floral arrangements. A blue dye can be extracted from the dried flowers. Recent research suggests that the roots might be able to combat Lyme Disease, although further testing is needed.

We simply enjoyed the spectacle of banks full of Teasel and Fleabane on a recent walk we went on.


Arilx


4 comments:

  1. Beautiful aren't they, so staturesque but very prickly. Its surprising how many 'cruel' plants there are out there, the long shoots of my blackberry yesterday was beyond viscious!

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    1. Indeed. I've got scratch marks from the brambles on Sundayx
      Arilx

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  2. I have always had a soft spot for teasels - I grow them in the garden. They have a habit of just appearing but I am not complaining :) My lot have a bit of a 'history'. I worked as a gardener, years ago, for an elderly gentleman who was a fighter pilot in the war. He'd been shot down and imprisoned and released and had the scars to show for it. In his garden he had teasels - he kindly saved some seeds for me as I'd expressed an interest. When he handed them over he explained they were 'inth' generation down from the one's his mum had collected as a child from a Somerset holiday. His mum had only died a few years before at the age of 102..... one wonders at the difference of time from the first collecting of the teasel seeds on holiday and now - that my 'generation' of teasels are flowering now.... (just had a quick guestimate and I think the first seeds were collected about early 1900's)

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    1. And that in a nutshell is why I love blogging...the wonderful memories people are kind enough to share. It adds depth and richness to the process for me.
      Arilx

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A bit betwixt and between

 Another visit to one of my favourite haunts....Nymans Gardens [NT] which is near here and perfect if you've only got a couple of hours ...