Glimpses of Eden

10 July 2014 | by Jonathan Tulloch

Although common, the hedge woundwort is shy and retiring. This thin, tallish plant lurks in the depths of hedges, or lifts its nettle-like spires in the shadowy woodland edges. Yet despite such modesty, it is one of the main currencies in nature’s economy. About this time of year, its wine-red flowers burst into life, and, concealed from us as they may be, the pollinators know exactly where to find them. In the past, when we lived far closer to the woundwort’s green halls than we do now, we too would have known exactly where these plants were to be found. A key herb in the cottage first-aid kit, woundwort had to be kept handy. The furry leaves were the first stop in staunching bleeding. Wrapped round the kind of deep nicks you get from a sharpened scythe or a sickle, the leaf

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