13 July 2009


Someone has asked me about the difference between the Scottish Asphodel and the Bog Asphodel.

The Scottish Asphodel - Tofieldia pusilla - is a rather small plant with greenish-white flowers. In the UK, it is restricted almost entirely to high ground in Scotland.

Bog Asphodel - Narthecium ossifragum - is a much taller plant with yellow flowers, and is also much more common. It is found at all altitudes throughout Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and in the west of England.

The Latin name Narthecium ossifragum reflects the belief (incorrect) that sheep would become brittle-boned after feeding on it.

Both species are members of the Lily family and have long narrow basal leaves which are flattened into one plane.

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