Can anyone tell me what flower/weed this is?
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Can anyone tell me what flower/weed this is?

 
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Big Wolf
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 11:00 pm    Post subject: Can anyone tell me what flower/weed this is? Reply with quote

All over central Scotland just now the countryside is currently covered with purple flowers that grow up to about 5 feet high. They grow in large groups and I was wondering what this flower/weed is called.

Can anyone tell me? photos below, (click on either to get a bigger image)

Growing in a group


Single stem up close

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ghiribizzo
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rosebay willowherb.
Fireweed in 'murica.

Epilobium angustifolium. Now who do we know with a name like that? Hmm...
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Last edited by ghiribizzo on Sun Aug 06, 2006 11:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Big Wolf
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, looks like it can be even be eaten! See wikipedia link

Hmmm... the Latin name is most interesting and a sheer fluke!
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Scotsbob
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big Wolf wrote:
Thanks, looks like it can be even be eaten! See wikipedia link


Yep, saw Ray Mears do that on his extreme survival show yesterday.
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crazy Frog
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not seen them since I was a little girl Angel
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ghiribizzo
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whaat? Do the railway lines and cuttings of the shire of York not have tons of them?
Oo-err. Confused
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allieballie
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I was wondering that too because these flowers are EVERYWHERE! And, if I can delve back into the depths of my brain to my second year Plant Science course at Aberdeen (Aberdeen too posh to call it Botany!), I do seem to recall that it was originally spread from the South via railway lines.
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HighlandNick
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's an escapee (apparently) from Kew Gardens. Passing trains blow the seeds further along the line each year and so it has spread right across the country.
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Firth of Forth
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But is it a flower or a weed? I pulled some out of my garden recently.
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Firth of Forth
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But is it a flower or a weed? I pulled some out of my garden recently. What defines a weed?
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allieballie
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess you could simply view a "weed" as being a plant growing in a place that you don't want it to grow, so rosebay willow herb can be whatever you want it to be. If you like it then fine - it's not a weed. Personally I see them as weeds because I think that they just take over huge areas where it would be nicer to see a wider variety of other plants growing. Having said that I do have a jar at home which contains a spilt seed pod from a rosebay wilow herb - put the seed pod in the jar before it bursts, then when it does dry out and open, you get three curled-back prongs of pod and a jar full of the dandelion-like seeds. Looks pretty (but no wonder my house is full of junk!).
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Haggis Hunter
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Firth of Forth wrote:
But is it a flower or a weed? I pulled some out of my garden recently. What defines a weed?

AB is right it is in the eye of the beholder. Here is a Wiki definition. The dictionary also says the same.

So it is a flower, but to you it's a weed, because you didn't want them in your garden! Rolling Eyes
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Naefearjustbeer
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can vouch for it being able to spread easily it has turned my garden into a jungle it spreads like wildfire. I like it though It blocks out all the low lying weeds and gives an nice bit of colour.
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ghiribizzo
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the interests of scientific geocaching research, whilst out with cachehound I passed one of my caches tonight, surrounded by the plant/weed and rabbits.
The flowers actually have a subtle pleasant scent, not anywhere as in-your-face as honeysuckle.
The weed has outlasted the railway. Beeching exterminated it in the 60's.
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