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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!

04 August, 2016

Hemp-agrimony the holy rope



Go anywhere where the ground is normally damp in Dorset and you are likely to find hemp-agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum). It will be found along river banks, lake sides, in fens, marshes, wet meadows, damp woodlands; it just needs damp ground.
No relation to agrimony despite the similar name (both English and scientific), hemp-agrimony is a member of the daisy family and has lovely soft padded flower heads which insects adore. It is always worth browsing the flowers of hemp-agrimony to see who is at home! Once the flowers go over then the finches move in to feed on the seed heads. All things considered hemp-agrimony is a top flower! Good to see, good for insects and good for seed eating birds.
Also known as holy rope, goodness knows why but I guess rope used to be made out of hemp, the plant contains chemicals known to cause cancers so best not to collect it and smoke it although despite the name cannabinum I have not found a link to cannabis!
Hemp-agrimony the holy rope