There is agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria) growing by the pond.

Agrimony is a perennial plant that grows spikes of small yellow flowers on a single stem. The flowers open in stages from the bottom of the stem. The leaves have fern-like edges and pale undersides.

It is a common wildflower but, because the seed sets late in the season, it is vulnerable to our early hay-making habit. In the reserve it is a plant of the uncut, wilder places, the set-asides and field edges, among the tall grasses.

Flower spikes and hooked seeds

You probably know agrimony more for its seeds than for its flowers. The seeds (technically, fruits called achenes) are pyramidal in shape and each one has many hooks, evolved to aid seed dispersal by catching hold of and clinging to the pelt of passing animals. In the reserve, of course, the passing animals are usually dogs and humans, and many a late summer walk ends with pulling the agrimony burs out of your socks and the dog’s coat.

Go and look. It’s growing on the Village Green side of the pond, where the stream flows in.

Header image: Agrimony by Björn S (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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