Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Killingan Coppice again

The fruit are already ripe on the bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara) and here it looks as though the sloe bug (Dolycoris baccarum) centre right is enjoying some of the juice while standing on its head.

20100727 Killingan bittersweet & sloe bug

The plant is toxic to humans and, although quite large quantities have to be eaten before there are any serious effects, it is important not to experiment.  Sloe bugs appear not to be affected.  The stems are said to be sweet when first chewed, but quickly turn bitter hence, I assume, the name dulcamara meaning sweetbitter.

Spear thistles (Cirsium vulgare) are in full bloom now and very attractive to bumble bees.

 20100727 BHW & Killingan 016

Another plant doing exceptionally well along the coppice edge in response to higher light levels is upright hedge-parsley (Torilis japonica).

20100727 Killingan Torilis japonica

In Korea seeds of this species are one of the ingredients in the 18 herb concoction called paeng-jo-yeon-nyeon-baek-ja-in-hwan (PJBH for short).  In Oriental medicine PJBH is reckoned to activate brain function, promote memory and lengthen life span.  Might try some if I can find the other 17 ingredients.

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