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Species Datapage  No 1  

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Species Common Name:  Alexanders*
Species Botanical Name:  Smyrnium olusatrum

 

A tall introduced biennial pot herb, introduced by the Romans. Alexanders will spread and establish after the a few years.  
We use it to suppress weeds at the edge of woodland and hedgerow. 
It attracts insects in early spring when few other species are flowering

In a mild year, it flowers for St. Patrick's Day, and can be incorrectly called St. Patrick's Cabbage.  This useful shade tolerant herb likes frost free seaside conditions but it does grow in the midlands of Ireland and puts up with lots of frost, having survived many years in parts of Co. Laois.
I very much like this herb and it should be used more especially with young trees as it suppress grasses, which as I keep saying kill trees.
Management: Biennial, persistence in shady places: control seeding if unwanted, cannot spread if seeding controlled for two years
Tolerance of cutting medium, will re-grow and flower short if cut in spring.
Cutting time: Summer
 
Edible / Medicinal: pot herb (celery like), dried flower/seed heads for decorations
 

Life Cycle (Form): Biennial

Flower Height: 90 to 200 cm

Foliage Height: 40 - 80 cm

Flower Colour: Lime green.

Flowering period: March - May, depending.

Time to Flower: 12 months

Soil Type: Most, best in deep dry, light and rich soil.  Waste Places

pH Type: Neutral

Moisture: Dry

Aspect:  Shade to full sun, frost free

Wildlife Value: low
 

 

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Species Common Name: Annual Mayweed*

Species Botanical Name: Matricaria perforata. Also named (Tripleuspermum spp) (Chamomilla suaveolens) (Matricaria chamomilla) Some confusion exists over the naming and identification of this genus and species.  We have at least four distinct types in our genebank and crops and one (Anthemis cotula 'white flowering') is reported as nearly extinct in Web's flora. 

Search our species data pages for Sea Mayweed, Pineapple Mayweed,  Wild Chamomile or Corn Chamomile, all are similar.

 
mayweed_a.png (47281 bytes)Photograph shows Purple Toadflax  among Annual Mayweed 
 
Good for flower arranging, sample for scented varieties.  Excellent at attracting wildlife especially Finches.  May wild meadow mixtures contain Mayweed.  This plant is vital on difficult soils and as a nurse crop.  On certain soils it will become dominant but only for the first year. if out growing other species cut the meadow hard back.
Management: Annual, control seeding if unwanted.
Tolerance of cutting medium, will re-grow and flower short if cut in spring / summer. will re-grow and flower in grass in first year. 
Cutting time: Summer
Edible / Medicinal: pot herb (celery like), dried flower/seed heads for decorations
 

Life Cycle (Form): Annual

Flower Height: 30 - 80 cm

Foliage Height: 10 - 30

Flower Colour: White with yellow centre

Flowering period: July to November

Time to Flower: 16 weeks

Soil Type: All

pH Type: Neutral to Alkaline

Moisture: Any, except flooded

Aspect: any except deep shade

Wildlife Value: Good

Note: An excellent pioneer and nurse crop that can flower in second year from self seeding

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