Isles of Scilly Wildflower Of The Week - Wood Spurge

Liz Askins Isles of Scilly wildflower of the week was Wood Spurge - Euphorbia Amygdaloides. 

Wood Spurge is found on the dunes and heathland on Bryher, Tresco, St Helen's, St Martin's, Great Ganinick and Great Ganilly. The best place to see it is on the side of the south-east coastal path on Bryher, between the last house before the heathland and Rushy Bay, where it is obvious in the other vegetation.

The main thing to look out for in the spurge is the bracts that form a cup which holds the tiny green or yellowish flowers. One female and two or more male flowers are in each cup. Look closely in Wood Spurge's cup and you will see small crescent shaped or horned lobes.

The botanical name, Euphorbia Amygdaloides, means a group of plants that are named after Euphorbus, physician to the King of Mauritania that has something about it that is reminiscent of an almond. 

Wood Spurge is an ancestor of some garden varieties. One of these plants was found in Istanbul in 1891 by a Victorian adventurer, Mary Anne Robb, who was attending a wedding. She wasn't equipped for getting plants home so she bought it back in the box that was supposed to hold her best bonnet. The variety is still known as “Mrs Robb's Bonnet”.

You can listen to Liz's wIldflower of the week below and Liz will have a brand new wildflower for you next Wednesday at 10:30am.