This week's Isles of Scilly Wildflower Of The Week was Toothed Fireweed - Erechtites Minimus.
Toothed Fireweed is a very new edition to the islands. It has recently appeared on St Mary's on Lower Moors and the dump track. It is also on Tresco, Bryher and Samson. It has the potential to be a real problem.
It is a tatty looking plant with ratty looking flowers above and smarter leaves below. One plant can produce 200 flower heads that have dandelion type seeds that disperse in the wind.
The botanical name has recently changed and is now Erechites Minimus. It is named after a people who lived in an ancient city in Iraq and is the smallest one in its family. Possibly referring to the flowers.
Another common name is Coastal Burnweed. It is called fire or burn weed as it is the first plant to colonise areas after a forest fire. It is native to Australia and New Zealand and has spread to the Pacific coast of the United States. It has been rapidly spreading here since 2000 and is a plant of dunes, woodland and wasteland.
It is used as a herbal medicine in an oil or tincture. It is said to have a very unpleasant taste and is externally used for pain relief. It is also used for some skin problems and has anti-spasmodic properties.
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.