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Sanicle: woodland sparklers

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Sanicle: woodland sparklers

Although sanicle (Sanicula europaea) is a member of the carrot family, which typically have umbel (umbrella) flower heads, it is quite distinctive. The umbel is replaced by a series of small 'globes', each a cluster of small white, sometimes pale pink, flowers. Each flower head occurs at the end of a stem branch and they always remind me of sparklers we used to wave about on bonfire night as kids. Once they have gone to seed each globe forms a bristly seed cluster which readily clings to animal fur or human clothing. It is not a large plant typically growing to a bout a foot tall.

I associate this species with woodland in the spring but my book says it flowers from May until September. It is certainly a woodland flower with a marked preference for beech woods in chalky areas and whilst it would be wrong to say this is a scarce flower it is not, in my experience, that common in Dorset.

The roots of sanicle have been used in herbal medicine to treat, amongst other things, skin disorders and gastric conditions. 


 

If you would like to see the complete series that this post is part of click here ---->
This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 2 years 6 months ago

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