Knottman2

By Knottman2

Sweet Cicely

Myrrhis odorata

An ancient introduction to Britain, this handsome umbellifer is found in the north of England, eastern Scotland and parts of Wales. It is much less common in other parts of the country and indeed when botanists from the south come north it is on their list of things to look for.

All parts of the plant smell and taste of aniseed. Indeed in June some people like to nibble the gherkin like seed pods.

An extra identification clue are the tiny white specks on the surface of the lower leaf fronds. If you enlarge the photo you can just about see them.

My extra is far less pleasant, in fact it is sickening. This is what I found just inside the entrance of the National Nature Reserve. The official cardboard recycling bins are open and just half a mile away.

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