A. R. (Arthur Reginald) Horwood.

A new British flora : British wild flowers in their natural haunts (Volume 3) online

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lilac, scales of receptacle straight, longer than flowers, involucres
curved upwards.

Hoary Ragwort (Senecio erucifolius, L.)

This species is found in the North Temperate Zone to-day to the
South of Gothland, and in N. and W. Asia. In Great Britain it is
found in the Peninsula, Channel, Thames, Anglia, and Severn pro-
vinces; in Wales it is found in Glamorgan, Pembroke, Carnarvon,
Denbigh, Flint, Anglesea, and in the Trent, Mersey, H umber, Tyne
provinces, and in Cumberland, Lanark, Ayr, and Berwick. The Hoary
Ragwort occurs in E. Ireland and the Channel Islands. It is common
in S. Britain, but very rare in Scotland.

Hoary Ragwort is a familiar wild flower of the roadside, where
it is accompanied by such plants as Knapweed, Nipplewort, Wild
Basil, and the many other plants of the wayside, which grow there



in a state of protection, and are not so liable to be browsed as in
fields, where they likewise grow.

This is a taller plant than Groundsel, and the stem is rigid, simple
or branched, purple, and woolly. The stem is both angular and fur-
rowed. The leaves are alternate, much divided, with linear segments,
half-clasping, with stiff hairs below, or white, the lower leaves stalked,
turned back.

The flowers are rayed, in corymbose heads. The leaf-like organs
are membranous at the mar-
gin with hairy tips, the outer
half as long as the inner.
The fruit is silky with hairs
that do not fall out. The
hoary character by which it
is partly distinguished is most
marked when the plants are
young, and in wooded and
hilly stations, a feature which
in moist soil is lost, as also
when it is cultivated.

This plant is about 2 ft.
in height as a general rule.
The flowers are in bloom in
July and August. The plants
are propagated by division,
being perennial.

The ray florets are large
and give the plant a con-
spicuous appearance. Other-

wise the arrangements are
as in Senecio vulgaris,
though the heads are much
larger, and the plant is more likely to be visited by insects.

The fruits are provided with pappus, and adapted for wind

This Composite is mainly a sand-preferring species addicted to
a sandy soil, but may also be found on clay soil.

The fungi Bremia lactucee and Colesporium senecionis are found
upon the leaves. The Lepidoptera, the Feathered Ranunculus (Ep-
unda lichenea), Cinnabar (Euckelia jacobea), Argyrolepia rugosana,
Calosetia nigromaculana, and a fly, Spilographa zoe, feed on it.

HOARY RAGWORT (Senecio erucifoliiis, L.)


Scnecio is a Latin name for the Groundsel, a congener, from its
resemblance to a bald head (senex, an old man). The second Latin
name means hoary-leaved.


1 66. Senecio erucifolius, L. Stem tall, erect, hoary, purple, leaves
pinnatifid, segments linear, downy beneath, margin revolute, flower-
heads yellow, ray florets large, in dense corymb, ribs of fruit silky.

Nipplewort (Lapsana communis, L.)

Every hedgerow has its complement of Nipplewort, growing in
rows, and it is evident that it is truly native, for it is found in Pre-
glacial beds in Suffolk, Interglacial beds in Sussex, and Neolithic beds
at Edinburgh. It is found only in the North Temperate and Arctic
Zones, at the present day, in Arctic Europe, North Africa, N. and W.
Asia eastwards to the Himalayas, and in North America it is an intro-
duction. Nipplewort is generally common throughout Great Britain
as far north as the Orkneys, and it ascends in Northumberland to a
height of 1300 ft. It is native in Ireland and the Channel Isles.

It is a plant of waste ground, growing in a clump under walls
and outbuildings or in other sheltered corners. But it is also a very
common weed along roadside hedges, where it forms quite an avenue
for long distances. It is similarly common in fields and meadows, but
almost always sheltered by the hedge.

Nipplewort has an erect, rigid, branched, or closely-clustered stem,
with stiff hairs below, nearly smooth, and finely furrowed. The leaves
are opposite, lance-shaped, egg-shaped, stalked, with one or two pairs
of leaflets, the terminal segment large, egg-shaped, and the lower leaves
have a terminal large leaflet and paired lobes below.

The small yellow flowers are barely longer than the involucre or
whorl of leaf-like organs, which is angular, and are borne on slender
flower-stalks in terminal panicles, and the bracts or leaf-like organs are
awl-shaped. The achenes are incurved without pappus or hair, con-
tained within the involucre.

Nipplewort is usually at least 18 in. in height. The flowers bloom
in June and July and continue later. The plant is annual, and pro-
pagated by seed.

There are 8-17 flowers in the capitulum or head, and the disk is
8-10 mm. wide. The tube is iJ-2^ mm., and the limb 46 mm. long.
The heads are solitary and small and not conspicuous, so that insect
visits are few. In their absence the plant is effectually self-pollinated.



The cylinder protrudes 2-3 mm. and the style 1^-2 mm. beyond it,
the outer surface being covered at intervals with acute hairs. The
lobes of the stigma are only ^ mm. long, and are covered with papillae
or wart-like knobs on the inner surface, being widely spreading. The
flowers open between 6 and 7 and 10 and 1 1 o'clock, but in rainy
weather are closed. Nipplewort is visited by the Flies Eristalis
arbustorum, E. nemorum, and E. sepulcralis.

The achenes are ribbed, and in this way aided in dispersal by the
wind, and the seed is also
flattened lengthwise.

A sandy loam is the
usual requirement of Nip-
plewort, and it is generally
found in situations where
a sand soil is mixed with
some amount of humus.

A little "cluster-cup"
fungus, Puccinia lapsancs,
infests the leaves.

This plant is a food-
plant for the Tiger Moth.
Lapsana, a name bestowed
by Dioscorides, is from the
Greek lapsane, meaning
charlock, and the second
Latin name indicates how
common it is.

Ballagan, Bolgan-leaves,
Swine's Cress, Dock Cress,
Nipplewort, Succory Dock
are its different names.

The second name may be swelling leaves, as it was thought to remove
swellings (Bolgan is Scotch for this). The name Nipplewort was
given because it was supposed to heal the ulcers of nipples of women's
breasts. It serves as a Floral index. This plant was thought to relax
the body. Nipplewort used to be eaten as a salad.


177. Lapsana communis, L. Stem slender, tall, branched, leaves
petiolate, dentate, radical, lyrate, stem-leaves ovate, flowerheads small,
yellow, in a panicle, numerous, peduncles short, bracts in two rows,
outer smaller, no pappus.

NIPPLEWORT (Lapsana coinmunis, L.)


Ash (Fraxinus excelsior, L.)

The Ash is an ancient tree, having been met with in Interglacial
beds in Herts and Neolithic beds in Essex. Its range to-day is the
North Temperate Zone of Europe except Greece and N. Africa. In
Great Britain it is not found in N. Aberdeen, W. Sutherland, the
Orkneys, or Shetlands, but elsewhere universally, and it is very largely
planted. It ascends to 1350 ft. in Yorks.

The common Ash is now so generally distributed, owing to en-
closure and the better maintenance of highways and planting of trees
in hedgerows, that it is difficult to distinguish where the Ash is indi-
genous or not, except where it forms natural woodland as it does
which shelters a ground flora distinct from either that of the Oak,
Hazel, or Beech. As a rule, it is seen most often in the hedgerow
to-day, and is a frequent wayside tree.

It is a tall, erect tree, with a leaden-hued bark, which in the main
stem is cracked, the young branches being smooth. The branches at
first droop down gracefully and then curve upward again, giving it a
characteristic habit.

The opposite pinnate compound leaves with prominent leaf-cushions,
the black resting buds, and the thick, scarred twigs, with the incon-
spicuous tufts of flowers, and, finally, the winged seeds or " keys", serve
to distinguish the Ash from any other British tree.

The usual height is about 50 ft., but it may reach 100 ft. The
trunk is never very thick, rarely exceeding i yd. in diameter. In
woods it is straight, cylindrical, and unbranched for some distance.
In the open the boughs spread out in a radial manner at a distance
of 10 ft. from the ground. There is usually a second series of boughs
apart from one or two central ones which form a second tier of ascend-
ing branches.

The buds l are black, the terminal one large, the blackness being
due to hairs which clothe the four scales enclosing the leaves. The
twigs are coarse and nodular. The dwarf shoots are rough and leafless,
and the leaf cushions are separated by short internodes. The leaves
are opposite and in 4 rows, petiolate, 2 without stipules. Each leaf
possesses 4-6 pairs of sessile opposite leaflets and a terminal leaflet,
which are acute and toothed. The bole has a smooth bark at first, but

1 The buds are pointed and flattened at the end of the twi^.s, which arc also flattened.

2 The leaf-stalk is furrowed alwve, and opposite the- leaflets arc openings to direct the raindrops from
the leaflets. Moisture is absorbed by special hairs. The bud-scales are petioles or stalks, with undeveloped
leaflets at the apex. The outer ones are thick, furry inside, the second pair furry outside, and on this they
are more so.


It is ashen grey, hence

this becomes rough and furrowed at length,
the name. Rounded props occur at the base.

The flowers are branched and tufted, arising from lateral buds, and
are bi- or uni-sexual, and degenerate, without sepals or petals. The
bi-sexual flowers stand in the axils of bracts, and consist of 2 stamens,
with purple anthers, and a pistil above, with 2 large stigmas on a short
style. The female flower resembles these, but the male consists of only
2 stamens. The fruit is a strap-like winged ovary (" keys"), tipped by

ASH (Fraxinus excelsior, L.)

Photo. A. R. Horwood

the style, and contains i seed. The flowers appear in April and May.
The Ash is a deciduous tree, propagated by seeds.

The stigma ripens first, two to four days before the anthers, and the
latter open on the inner side. The flowers are small, but, being closely
placed, are conspicuous. Honey is secreted at the base of the corolla-
tube. The tree is wind-pollinated. The flowers are in bloom early,
before the leaves. In this way the pollen can be readily borne away
without being impeded by the foliage. The flowers vary in the sexual
characters considerably. Some are hermaphrodite or complete. In
some there are only rudimentary stamens, in others only a rudimentary
pistil, and all stages occur between these conditions and combinations


of them. The same tree, or even the same branch, varies in this
regard from year to year. The tree is thus unstable in its sexual

The fruit is winged at the extremity, and when it falls the wind
carries it to some distance.

The Ash is largely a clay-loving or limestone-loving plant, and
addicted to a cold clay soil. It is abundant, for instance, on liassic and
boulder-clay rock soils.

As a tree, many fungi attack it, e.g. Phytophthora omnivora,
Rose/tin ia ligniaria, Ash canker. It is galled by Phyllocoptcs fraxini,
Diplosis betularia, Cecidoinyia acrophila, C. pavida, and Diplosis fraxi-
ncl/a and D. invocata. Other insects live in it, as Eriophycs fraxini,
Lncanus ccwus, Sinodendron cylindricum, Rhagium inquisitor, Hyle-
sinus crenatus, H. fraxini, //. oleiperda, Vcspa crabro, Chicnaspis
salicis, Apterococcus fraxini, Zeuzera aesculi, Prays curtisellus, Bibio
ward, Psyllopsis fraxinicola, P. fraxini, Pseudococcus accris.

As a food plant, two beetles, Lytka vesicatoria, Anobinm pertinax;
Hymenoptera, Tenthredo bipustulata, Allantns tricincttis; Homoptera,
Alnrodes dubia\ several Heteroptera, Calocoris fulvojiiaculatns, Lygus
cervinus, Ortholytus tencllus, filalacocoris chlorizans, Loxops cocciucns,
Psallus variabilis, P. lepidus; Lepidoptera, Calocampa fraxini, J\Ictro-
caiupa margaritaria, feed upon it.

Fi'axinns, \' T ergil, is the Latin for Ash Tree, and the second Latin
name refers to the unsurpassed qualities of the wood. Ash is the
modern form of the Old English crsc.

It is called Ache, Aischen, Aishen-tree, Ash, Ash-candles, Ash-
chats, Ash-keys, Bird's Tongue, Cats-and-Keys, Cats'- keys, Chats,
Culvcrkeys, Eisch-keys, Esh, Freyn, Ground Ash, Haish, Hertwort,
Ketty-keys, Keys, Kite-keys, Locks-ancl- Keys, Patty Keys, Peter
Keys, Shacklers, Urchin Wood Croney. The name Shacklers is given
because of the fruit, and to shackle means to rattle.

As to the name Ash-keys, Turner says: "They are called in
Englishe ashe Keyes because they hang- in bunches after the manner
of keyes ".

" Break me a bit o' the Esh for his 'ead, lad, out o' the fence."

In Lincoln, if a man took a newly-cut Esh plant not thicker than
his thumb, he might lawfully beat his wife with it.

Much superstition has centred around this common tree. Ruptures
and holes in Ash trees were used by the people to pass children through,
especially before sunrise, a supposed beneficial proceeding. It was

ASH 211

thought to be the Yggdrasil, or Tree of Life, and man, according to the
Edda, was derived from it (and the Elm). Hesiod says Jove made
the third race of men from Ash. yEschylus speaks of the fruit of the
Ash as the race of men. It was a lightning plant.

" Avoid the Ash,
It counts the flash."

Ash rods were used for the cure of diseased sheep, &c. If a cow
appears to have been overlooked an Ash twig is twisted round its horns.
It was potent against sorcery, the evil eye being so cured in Scotland,
and to escape contact with a serpent it would creep into the fire.

" But that which gave more wonder than the rest,
Within an Ash a serpent built her nest,
And laid her eggs, when once to come beneath
The very shadow of an Ash was death."

Gerard, even in his day, relates the fable as to the antipathy of
serpents for the Ash. The sap was considered a remedy for serpent
bites in Germany. Charms were connected with the leaves.

" If you find an even ash or a four- leafed clover,
Rest assured you '11 see your true love ere the day is over."

To strew Ash branches in a field on Ash Wednesday was equal to
three clays' rain and three days' sun. They were burned to expel
serpents. There is a proverb in the Midlands: " If there are no kegs
or seeds in the Ash trees there will be no king within the twelve

months ".

" Burn ashwood green,
'T is a fire for a queen ;
Burn ashwood dear,
'T will make a man swear."

In Yorkshire they say: "May your footfall be by the root of an
ash". Faggots of Ash we're used in the Christmas fire. If the first
parings of a child be buried under the roots of an Ash it will be a " top
singer". In Leicestershire it was used as a cure for warts.

The wood is tough and elastic, and is used where a light-weight
but powerful wood is required, for spears and handles, implements,
wheels, &c.

The Ash is planted in copses, and the saplings are used for making
packing-cases, hop-poles, walking-sticks, fences, hoops, baskets. The
lower part is used for veneering. The leaves have been eaten as


fodder. Sugar is derived from the sap. The leaves have been used
to adulterate tea. The Ash is laxative and bitter. The keys have
been pickled and used in salads.


207. Fraxinus excelsior, L. Tree, with ashen bark, leaves smooth,
pinnate, with a terminal leaflet, plants dioecious, no calyx or corolla,
stamens in clusters in axils.

Great Bindweed (Calystegia sepium, Br.)

Though a northern plant there is no evidence that this species
is ancient, its present range being the Northern and Southern
Temperate Zones in Europe, Siberia, N. Africa, temperate N. and
S. America, Australia, and New Zealand. In Great Britain it does
not grow in Cardigan, Roxburgh, Linlithgow, E. Highlands, the
Northern Isles, but elsewhere it is general. It is found in Ireland.

Great Bindweed is a typical inland species growing in almost every
hedge, and is common by the roadside, where it clambers over haw-
thorn and other hedgerow plants. Unlike the Small Bindweed, it
is not associated in general with cultivated ground, though it may
occur in the hedges enclosing cornfields.

The rambling, climbing habit of Great Bindweed, which needs
the support of a hedge or similar aid to enable it to lead an aerial
existence, is one of its most striking features. It has a long white
creeping root, difficult to eradicate in gardens, hence the English
names. The stems are numerous, twining, twisted, striate or finely
furrowed, branched, the branches being alternate. The leaves are
arrow-shaped or angular below, acute, alternate, stalked, smooth. The
growing part revolves from right to left against the sun, revolving
in two hours.

The flowers are white, bell-shaped, and large. The flower-stalks
are i -flowered, square-stalked, and the flowers are axillary. The
bracts or leaflike organs enclose the calyx, and are cordate, veined,
and purple. The flowers open for one day, and are not scented, but
are open in the moonlight. The corolla is plaited in the bud. The
calyx, which is 5-fid, is tubular. The limb of the corolla is scarcely
divided, and the seeds are angular, but rarely produced.

The plant grows to a length of 6-10 ft. It flowers in July up till
September. It is perennial, increasing freely by division of the roots.

The flowers are very large and conspicuous, but have no scent
and no path-finders, so that they are little visited by insects. They



do not close up when it is raining, though they contain honey. They
close between 8 and 10 p.m., but are open when it is a moonlight
night. The floral mechanism is as in C. arvensis. The honey is in
a yellow ring at the base of the ovary. The style is twisted, as in
some plants where the flowers are pollinated by crepuscular insects.
It is visited by the Convolvulus Hawk Moth (Sphinx convolvuli\
which has been found on
the flowers in the evening.
The ovary does not bend
over after flowering, being
protected by the large leaf-
like organs or bracts.

Halictus, Megachile,
Empis, Rhingia, creep
into the base of the
flower by day, and insert
their probosces between
slits between the filaments
or anther stalks. Rhingia
rostrata applies its labellse
to the anthers, stigma,
and corolla wall. Meli-
gethes, Thrips, Podura,
visit it by day. Wher-
ever the Convolvulus
Hawk Moth (Sphinx con-
vofouli} is common so is
C. sepium. If the former
is absent the latter may
not produce seed at all.

The capsule splits open when ripe, the seeds being scattered around
the parent plant.

Great Bindweed is a sand-loving plant growing mainly on sand
soil, or sandy soil or sandy loam with a little humus.

Three fungi, Cystopus tragopogonis, Puccinia convolviili, and Theca-
phora hyalina, infest it, and the latter destroys the seeds.

A beetle Longitarsus exoletus, and several moths, the Convolvulus
Hawk Moth (Sphinx convolvuli\ Small Scallop (Acidalia emarginata\
the Double-striped Pug (Eupithecia pumilata], Pterophorus penta-
dactylus, Emmelesia trabealis, Spotted Sulphur (Agrophila sulpkuralis],
the Four-spotted (Acontia luctuosa), Small Mottled Willow (Caradrina

GREAT BINDWEED (Con-volvulus sepim


exigua), Mottled Rustic (C. morpheiis\ Ebulea sambucalis, Bdellia
sommilentella, feed on it.

Calystcgia is from the Greek kalos, beautiful, and stego, cover,
alluding to its habit of covering hedges, or the large bracts, &c.
Septum is Latin for, of hedges.

The names by which Great Bindweed is known are numerous, e.g.
Bearbind, Bedwind, Bell-bind, Bell-binder, Bell-bine, Bellwine, Bell
Woodbind, Hedge Bells, Beswinor, Beswind, Bethwine, Common
Bind, Bindweed, Great Bindweed, Bineweed, Great Bines, Con
volvulus, Cornbind, Corn Lily, Creeper, Devil's Garter, Devil's Guts,
Ground Ivy, Hellweed, Honey Suckle, Jack-run-in-country, Lady's
Smock, Harvest, Hedge, White Lily, Lily-bind, Lily-flower, Milk
Maid, Night-caps, Grandmother's, Lady's, and Old Man's Nightcap,
Robin-in-the-hedge, White Smock, Wave Wine, Way Wind, Weather
Wind, Weedbine, Wither Wine, With Wind, Withy Wind. It was
called Devil's Guts because of the long creeping roots that every
gardener knows.

The name Hedge Lily is thus whimsically explained by Turner:
" There is a flower not unlyke unto a lylye in the herbe which is
called convolvulus, it groweth among shrubbes and busshes and hath
no savour, nether any little Chyves lyke saffrone as a lyly hath, only
representing a lily in whytenes, and it is as it were an imperfect worke
of nature learninge to make lilies". When expanded it was regarded
as a sign of fine weather. It was called Devil's Garter because
of its supposed association with the evil one. It is purgative in


220. Calystegia sepium, Br. Stem climbing, leaves sagittate, with
blunt lobes, flower-stalks square -flowered, flowers white, campanulate,
axillary, with two large bracts, enveloping the calyx.

Red Bartsia (Bartsia Odontites, Huds.)

This ericetal plant has been found in the Clyde Beds at Garvel
Park, of Late Glacial age. Its present distribution is the N. Temperate
Zone of Europe, N. Asia, N. Africa, and the Himalayas. It is found
in all parts of Great Britain except the Shetlands, as far north as the
Orkneys, ascending to 1200 ft. in the Highlands. It is native in
Ireland as well as the Channel Islands.

Red Bartsia is found in fields and waste places over a wide area.
It is a common roadside plant growing with Tufted Vetch, Yellow


ttvntfas, Huds.)
a, Flower f enlarged}, show-
ing labiate corolla, with >-
tobed loner IIP, -z long and 2
short stuiTiens, and mucron-
ate anther-cells. , Persis-
tent calyx, with capsule with-
in, and long persistent style
< , Flowering stem, with linear-
lanceolate leaves, and flowers
ir; a spike iii the axils of

2. Wqcxf Baitl

..' ' ,
No. 3. Ground Ivy

a, Floret, showing fobed
alia swollen above, and
stamens hardly cxserted. '-,
Calyx-tube with spreading
^V teetti, irtfysing nutlets, with
long persistent forked style.
c, Flowering stem, withsquare
stem, reflexed hairs, paired
leaves, and flowers in whorls

i, Flower,show)nggamos(-
palous <:aiyx, tubular labiate
corolla, and stamens sli^litly
b, Floret, cut
n to show 4 epipetaloas
s, 2 long, 2 short.
c, Flowering stem, showing
flowers in whorls, in the
axils of ortyicular or reniform

No. 4. Bugl
(Ajuga reptafrsjL.)
I /a, Flower, shoeing! calyx
iW with acjute teeth, tubular,
labiate corolla, veined within,

va$e-acute leaf
acute teeth, rf, Group

( -



. , and it is

wode ,'flonfrnl
hnt. .b$m;X9 ^i^dfgfi




d 3


^nhowfltTi y v/yUpfJK lifWiH
yir.vo jgaoKWy d*iw jmlk
c'hod* 01 ei3*mft bi

Itiw.eiixB M)




I. Red Hartsia (tiartsia Odontites, IIiuls.). 2. Wood Basil (Clitiopodinin i<nlgare, L.). 3. Ground Ivy (Nepeta
hederacea, Trev.). 4. Bugle (Ajuga reptans, L.). 5- Spurge Laurel (Daphne Latireola, L.). 6. Common Elm

(Ulinus campeslris, L.).



Vetchling, Brambles, Bryony, in the hedge, Cow Parsnip, Hedge
Parsley, Cleavers, Hoary Ragwort, Wild Basil, Stinging Nettle, &c.

A rather short, shrubby, branched plant, with aji erect stem, and
widely spreading branches, Red Bartsia has often the same sort of
candelabra habit as Hedge Mustard. The stem is occasionally square,
roughly hairy. The leaves are long, lance-shaped, distantly coarsely
toothed, alternately opposite, stalkless, turned back, toothed, and
veined. The plant is a
hemi-parasite growing upon
the roots of grasses.

The bracts or leaflike
organs are lance -shaped,
and exceed the flowers,
which are purplish -red or
pink, and borne in a pa-
nicled spike, which is clus-
tered, with flowers turned
all one way and nodding.
The sepals equal the tube,
4-5 mm. long, and are 4-
toothed, and acute. The
corolla is gaping, downy,
with a hollow oblong lower
lip, the upper divided into
3 segments. The capsule is
flat and oblong, with striate
white seeds.

Red Bartsia is i ft. in

height. The flowers open in July, and continue till September. This
plant is an annual propagated by seeds.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 18 20 21 22 23

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