Saturday, July 2, 2011

Vegetable Vampires 4: Eyebright


Eyebrights Euphrasia spp. are possibly the most attractive of all the hemiparasites, which all link their roots to those of surrounding plants and siphon off their water supply and mineral nutrients. There is a bewildering number of species in this genus - 21 species and over 60 hybrids listed in Clive Stace's New Flora of the British Isles. This little ground-hugging example, which I haven't identified, was growing on lead mine spoil tips at Middlehope Burn in Weardale, and ...

.... this much taller one, part of a dense population of thousands of plants, was growing amongst yellow rattle in one of the high pastures on Chapel Fell in Weardale.

6 comments:

  1. The flower is beautiful.The number of veg vampires is staggering!There must be many here too, I see the farmers weeding all the time.

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  2. Well I didn't know this one had such anti-social habits. One of my favourite wild flowers too....

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  3. Eyebright grows here on Bembridge Down but is so small and squat I've found it impossible to photograph - never seen a tall species.

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  4. Hi lotusleaf, do you have Striga in your country?

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  5. Mine too Chris... one that I'd like to establish in my garden

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  6. The pastures are very wet up on Chapel Fell,Rob, so I guess that helps them to make a lot of lush growth

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