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BOG ASPHODEL : Narthecium ossifragum

These plants may often be overlooked while out walkingon the muirs as they tend to be in amongst taller grasses and heathers. But once noticed, you will begin to see more and more. They area rich rust colour turning more yellow as they open. 

They obviously get their name from living in standing water, but are sometimes found in other habitats too. 

The Wildlife Trusts tell us that The Latin name of bog asphodel, ossifragum, literally translates as 'bone-breaker'. This unassuming plant acquired this violent name because it was believed that the livestock that grazed on it got brittle bones. However, it was actually the calcium-poor pastures that caused the problem. The Kilchoan Diary blog paints a more worry picture. Referring to one of the local farms there it notes: this year their lambs have suffered as a result of eating Bog Asphodel.

Bog Asphodel causes sheep serious kidney problems and a photosensitivity disorder called 'yellowses' or 'plochteach'.  The symptoms include swelling of the face, eyelids, lips and limbs, which causes the animal to shake its head or kick at it with its hind limbs; it also rubs itself against gate and fence posts.  The wool falls off, the tips of the ears begin to die, and the ear becomes bloody and call also fall off.  The animal becomes extremely distressed and very ill.  Treatment is difficult, but the discomforts can be eased by keeping the animal in a dark place. 
One of their lambs died.

Wildflower Finder notes : Bog Asphodel is not an asphodel, although it was once thought to be a miniature version of one, but rather a member of the Lily Family, Alliaceae. In Northern climes the it was once used a yellow hair dye and as a cheap substitute for saffron.

Some bog asphodel in puddles amongst heather and other plants on Carman Muir where the Hundred Steps path reaches the reservoir.

KILCHOAN - A DIARY OF A SCOTTISH VILLAGE : https://kilchoan.blogspot.com/2012/07/a-beautiful-killer.html

WILDFLOWER FINDER : http://wildflowerfinder.org.uk/Flowers/A/Asphodel(Bog)/Asphodel(Bog).htm

WILDLIFE TRUSTS : https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-explorer/wildflowers/bog-asphodel

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