Greater Stitchwort

Greater Stitchwort
Greater Stitchwort

Suddenly there are flowers everywhere. They all seem to be in a hurry to catch up with the growing season. I hope they aren’t jumping the gun, there aren’t that many bees and the like about yet. We have seen a few bumble-type bees and some of the smaller things that look like a cross between a fly and a bee, oh, and a couple of butterflies – but not enough to get round all the daffodils, celandines and dandelions that have exploded out of the road verges in the last few weeks.

This is Greater Stitchwort. Now that it has its flowers you can see that it isn’t just a stalk of grass. It is apparently, edible, although there doesn’t seem enough of it to make a meal.

The name Stitchwort comes from its use to treat a ‘stitch’ (in the side, as against in time) in the olden days. It is Greater Stitchwort because it has a cousin with smaller flowers.

It is also known as ‘Dead Man’s Bones’ because it has such a brittle stem. It tends to grow in amongst grass and other plants, as they give it some support. It particularly likes the verge of woods and the edge of hedges for the shelter they afford.

We must keep a lookout for the Lesser Stitchwort – and tell it that we’ve seen its big brother.