Marvel

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Saturday, 21 August 2010 18:39

Jo and I went up to High and Over to look for White Horehound and soon found it not far south east down the hill from the white horse itself. The plant is a new one for me and I'm afraid it had almost totally gone over so the photos are not too good. I like to think of the labiates as 'poor man's orchids' and this one is pretty odd. Apparently an alternative name is Marvel which I think is better than White Horehound. Strange how the few flowers that were left were arranged very symmetrically.
A slightly odd scent to the leaves which is quite week but very artificial smelling. The plant is covered in white hairs and the leaves look really frosty as well as being very wrinkled. The clusters of flowers are almost spherical and the calyx tubes are really densely packed in together adding to this effect. The flowers themselves are tiny with the top lip reduced to two white 'horns'. All the plants I saw were growing in areas of disturbed earth  on chalk-grassland caused by rabbits along with lots of Viper's Bugloss and Teasel. There is also a big Red Star-thistle in the car park that is impossible to miss.

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