14 June 2010

Celery-leaved buttercup

Today I found a small plant of celery-leaved buttercup, Ranunculus sceleratus, in an open area to the south east of Austford at TQ789204 beside the path running south from the footpath crossroads.

20100614 BHW fixed point & Stanmer 067

This seems to be the first record for Brede High Woods.

The plant is filled with an acrid juice that raises blisters better, it seems, than any other buttercup.

The Reverend John Lightfoot in his Flora Scotica (1777) described it as having a "most acrimonious quality" adding that "Strolling beggars have been known sometimes purposely to make sores with it, in order the more readily to move compassion."

Haven't seen many strolling beggars in the woods lately.

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