This is possibly the best shot I have representing the general effect of these flowers. Rosebay Willowherb, Chorlton Ees, autumn 2015.

The technical name is Chamerion angustifolium, a common name is fireweed. It characteristically appears in areas burnt by fire.

It’s been used for both medicinal and culinary reasons. You can make tea from Rosebay Willowherb. I’ve never tried it but will remember to do so when I see it again. I love the idea of foraging. I tried nettle soup – free, fun, good for iron and vitamin C – but it was bland and unexciting.

In 2013, walking the Pyrenees, I stopped for lunch in a quiet valley. A man and his wife were nearby. He was wandering around with a canvas bag, a knife, and then huge mushrooms. Six or eight inches across. How lovely to have that relationship with the land.

 

Chorlton Meadows: Willowherb Panorama

Friday January 1, 2016