If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

23 August, 2016

Gipsywort: a G and T



Gipsywort (Lycopus europaeus) is a member of the labiate family of plants which also include mints and deadnettles. The square stem, pointed nettle shaped leaves and small tubular flowers in whorls are so typical of this family.
Gipsywort loves damp ground and is usually found on stream banks, in drainage ditches and wet 'fen' areas from June through to September and is common in areas of Wareham Common.
It is another plant with folklore connections. Supposedly a remedy for just about every ailment that can beset us! It is also used as a die and the name comes from the belief that Romany people died their skin with it although that story remains totally unsubstantiated as far as I can ascertain. More likely it was used to die clothes. Apparently it smells like gin and tonic when crushed! 
Gipsywort: a G and T