Sunday, July 27, 2014

Greater Burdock, Arctium lappa,

Had an idea this morning as I went out to Mud Lane. When I got to Kenn Moor Gate I went down the track that leads to the Water Gauge fields.  There were several large clumps of Burdock growing there. I had taken the ring-flash so I set up on the back flap of the Smart/Idiot with the clamp on a beer mat of the car roof. 
Culpeper says of Greater Burdock, Arctium lappa, amongst other things :—
The Burdock leaves are cooling, moderately drying, and discussing withal, whereby it is good for old ulcers and sores. A dram of the roots taken with Pine kernels, helps them that spit foul, mattery, and bloody phlegm. The leaves applied to the places troubled with the shrinking of the sinews or arteries, gives much ease. The juice of the leaves, or rather the roots themselves, given to drink with old wine, doth wonderfully help the biting of any serpents. And the root beaten with a little salt, and laid on the place, suddenly eases the pain thereof, and helps those that are bit by a mad dog. The juice of the leaves being drank with honey, provokes urine, and remedies the pain of the bladder. The seed being drank in wine forty days together, doth wonderfully help the sciatica. The leaves bruised with the white of an egg, and applied to any place burnt with fire, takes out the fire, gives sudden ease, and heals it up after­wards. The decoction of them fomented on any fretting sore, or canker, stays the corroding quality, which must be afterwards anointed with an ointment made of the same liquor, hog's-grease, nitre, and vinegar boiled together. The roots may be preserved with sugar, and taken fasting, or at other times, for the same pur­poses, and for consumptions, the stone, and the lask. 

I wonder what the 'lask' might be. I know that the hooks will cling to almost any material and certainly to animals coats. 

 I put a dioptre on the Tamron 90mm and managed a real macro shot of the hooks, they look soft but are as hard as they need to be to hold onto hair, fur, or trouser legs.

When I got to Mud Lane I found Melilotus and got some shots and also what I thought might be a branch of the Forget-me-Not species. Only to discover and old friend Vervain Verbena officionalis.
So I took the opportunity to take a few more pix of it whilst still fresh. I had still left the ring flash rigged on the A77 so no time was taken.
What a lovely little flower it is although only 5 mm in size.  

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