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Wetland Plants

Some of the wetland flowers you may see on Pipe Green
Cuckoo flower

Cuckoo flower — so called, as it flowers at the same time of year as when the first cuckoos can be heard (i.e. early May). It goes by a number of other names, including Lady’s Smock as well as milkmaids. There is a lot of folklore and superstition associated with this plant and it was believed to bring bad luck if the flower was picked and brought indoors. On a more practical note, it is an important larval host plant and nectar source for the orange-tipped and green veined butterfly. You can often see the orange-tipped butterflies flitting around the flowers on a sunny day in early summer.

Image to the right © Pipe Green Trust

For futher information visit ukwildflowers.com — botanical name: dardamine pratensis

Devil's-bit Scabious

Devil’s-bit Scabious — These purple pin-cushion flowers, can be seen amongst the wetland grasses and sedges from July-October. They are an important nectar source for late flying insects and its leaves are the sole food source for the caterpillars of the declining marsh fritillary butterfly. The “scabious” part of the name comes from the fact the plant was used to treat scabies, whilst the “devil’s bit” relates to the root of the plant; folklore tells us that the devil was cross about the healing properties of the root and so took a bite, which resulted in the small and dark root that the plant now has!

Image to the right © Pipe Green Trust

For futher information visit ukwildflowers.com — botanical name: succisa pratensis

 Greater birdsfoot trefoil

Greater Bird’s-foot trefoil — This plant is closely related to the common bird’s-foot trefoil, but as the name suggests, it is much larger and has darker and more luxuriant foliage. It also prefers to grow on much damper soil and so is usually found growing amongst the rush (as shown in this photo). Interestingly it is the only member of the legume (pea) family that can grow in such damp conditions. It has a similar yellow flower to the common bird’s-foot trefoil, and is an important nectar source for moths and butterflies.

Image to the right © Pipe Green Trust

For futher information visit ukwildflowers.com — botanical name: Lotus pedunculatus

Lesser Spearwort

Lesser Spearwort — At first glance lesser spearwort maybe confused with buttercup and in fact they both belong to the same family (Ranunculus). Lesser spearwort however grows in much damper conditions, and usually grows where there is surface water. As such, it is often found on the Green in hollows where water accumulates for much of the year. It is called spearwort, as the leaves are pointed and spear-like.

Image to the right © Pipe Green Trust

For futher information visit ukwildflowers.com — botanical name: ranunculus flammula

Marsh Pennywor

Marsh Pennywort — grows quite prolifically in areas of the Green where there is shallow water. It is often overlooked, as it is a low growing plant, often only 3 inches high and tends to get smothered by the larger plants. However, the shiny, circular leaves are distinctive and when you look closely at the vegetation, you realise how much there is growing on the Green. The leaves are edible and seemingly very tasty!

Image to the right © Pipe Green Trust

For futher information visit ukwildflowers.com — botanical name: Hydrocotyle vulgaris

Marsh Valerian

Marsh Valerian — is often found growing close to Leomansley Brook. It grows to about 40cm tall and has tight clusters of pink flowers. It is quite rare in the Lichfield area. The root has been used by herbalists, as a sedative and today is still used by some to treat insomnia.

Image to the right © Pipe Green Trust

For futher information visit ukwildflowers.com — botanical name: Valeriana dioica

Meadowsweet

Meadowsweet — is often be found growing close to Leomansley Brook. Surprisingly, meadowsweet belongs to the rose family and in August produces large clusters of delicate creamy-white flowers. The plant has been used for centuries by herbalists, as the leaves give off a wholesome scent and the flowers have a sweet flavour. Meadowsweet has also long been used as a treatment for digestive disorders, where it is thought the tannins and salicylic acid (active compound of asprin) produced by the plant, work respectively to protect the digestive tract and reduces inflammation.

Image to the right © Pipe Green Trust

For futher information visit ukwildflowers.com — botanical name: Filipendula ulmaria

Southern Marsh Orchid

Southern Marsh Orchid — Unlike the common spotted orchid and bee orchid, that grow on the Green, the southern marsh orchid is a much larger plant and prefers to grow in damp conditions (as the name suggests!). A large patch of approx 60 specimens was recently found growing in the wetland area and hopefully they will start to spread. The colour of the flowers vary from dark to light pink, and the lip of the flower is much more rounded than the common spotted orchid.

Image to the right © Pipe Green Trust

For futher information visit ukwildflowers.com — botanical name: Dactylorhiza praetermissa

Ragged Robin

Ragged Robin — Whilst it was once a common flower of damp meadows, ragged robin has declined in the countryside due to habitat loss. It is therefore lovely to see swathes of ragged robin flowering amongst the rushes from June-August. Each flower petal is divided into four lobes and gives the pink flower its characteristic ragged appearance. It is an important nectar source for butterflies and bees.

Image to the right © Pipe Green Trust

For futher information visit ukwildflowers.com — botanical name: Silene flos-cuculi

Water Figwort

Water Figwort — There has been a substantial increase in the amount of water figwort, since the wet side of the Green has become even wetter. As its name suggests, water figwort likes damp conditions and grows to approx 1 metre tall. The stem of this statuesque plant is square-shaped which can aid in identifying the plant. It flowers from July to September, with quite small dark purple flowers, which are an important nectar source for bees and wasps. The leaves, in the past, have been used to treat wounds.

Image to the right © Pipe Green Trust

For futher information visit ukwildflowers.com — botanical name: Scrophularia auriculata

Yellow Flag Iris

Yellow Flag Iris — this easily identifiable, water-loving plant grows in the shallow parts of Leomansley Brook. It can grow to over 1 metre tall and is characterised by its bright yellow flowers and sword-shaped leaves. The base of the iris can help protect small fish (sticklebacks etc) and other aquatic wildlife. The flag iris, however, does need controlling, as it can grow right across the brook and block the water flow.

Image to the right courtesy of ©  ukwildflowers.com

For futher information visit ukwildflowers.com — botanical name: Iris pseudacorus

Water Mint

Water Mint — grows in profusion along the margins of Leomansley Brook and can be easily identified by standing on it, as the crushed leaves give off a very minty smell! It has a purple/pink flower and is a good nectar source for a number of butterflies that are present on the Green (e.g. gatekeeper, holly blue, peacock).

Image to the right © Pipe Green Trust

For futher information visit ukwildflowers.com — botanical name: Mentha aquatica

Wild Angelica

Wild Angelica — This is a very statuesque plant, which grows well over 1 metre tall. There are some patches of it on the Green, amongst the rush and near to the bridge. It belongs to the carrot family (Umbellifera) and has large umbrella-like clusters of white flowers, which are often tinged with pink. It flowers from July - September and the insects adore it!

Image to the right © Pipe Green Trust

For futher information visit ukwildflowers.com — botanical name: Angelica sylvestris

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