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Bog asphodel

Bog asphodel

Bog asphodel is very uncommon in southern England, but much more common in the wetter north and west.

The New Forest is a particular stronghold for this plant; it is widespread here and fairly common in many of the wet areas. Bog asphodel also grows on the heaths of north-east Hampshire.

It only grows in wet areas on acid soils, so the waterlogged, peaty areas of bog and valley mire in the New Forest suit it perfectly.

The Latin name for bog asphodel is ossifragum, meaning bone-breaker. It was thought that sheep that ate it got brittle bones, but the condition was actually caused by the lack of calcium in the habitat where bog asphodel grows.

Look for its yellow flowers in July and August in any of the wet valley bogs. A reliable place to find them is Beaulieu Road Heath – look in the wetter areas around the boardwalks.

ID Tip

ID Tip

Bog asphodel is the only wetland species to have spikes of six-petalled yellow flowers. In late August and September the seed-heads are a beautiful golden-brown colour.

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