Friday, July 17, 2009

Visit to Wicken Fen

Tuesday was spent at Wicken Fen ( on a flora identification day. A whole day just looking at flowers! Wow!
Here's a selection:

Oenanthe lachenalii Parsley-leaved water dropwort

Oenanthe is apparently from two Greek words: oinos meaning wine and anthos meaning 'flower'. It may have flowers that smell of wine and leaves that resemble parsley but this beautiful umbellifer is not for use as an herbal garnish as it is highly toxic.

Succisa pratensis Devil's bit scabious

Devil's bit scabious is so called because its roots look as if they have been bitten off and in days of yore when superstition and fantasy reigned - the poor old devil got blamed for pretty much everything.

Lysimachia vulgaris Yellow loosestrife

Lysimachia is derived from the name of a Macedonian king: Lysimachusl he was around in about 300BC and his name means losing or ending strife. Neat eh?

Utricularia neglecta Bladderwort

Bladderwort is only really visible when it flowers in a blaze of glory in summer. Most of the time it is surreptitiously munching its way through billions of water fleas. A truly voracious carnivore!

A peacock butterfly incognito!


  1. Interesting report....and good photos!
    devil's bit scabious is on my hit-list this month, and although I know that the leaves are very different from the small and field versions, the flower also looks quite different in your photo.

  2. Thanks for compliment! It's only little digital camera - but it does OK. I've not had any emails from BBC Wildlife yet though!!!
    The devil's bit likes damp meadows I think. Hope you find it - fab plant. I am still jealous of your marsh helleborine. Wow!