Agrimony - Agrimonia eupatoria habit, click for a larger image
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Agrimony - Agrimonia eupatoria flower, click for a larger image

Agrimony - Agrimonia eupatoria
Family - Rosaceae
Also known as - Cockeburr, Stickwort, Church Steeples

Abundant in the UK and most of Europe, localised in Scotland (not found in the far north), found on banks,open woods, field sides, waste ground and dry thickets.  Growing from a long black woody root system, slender spikes of yellow flowers on a round roughened stem 45-150cm (1.5-5 feet) tall, bloom from June to early September.  Stems are mostly unbranched with pinnate leaves, the lower ones 15-20cm (6-8ins) long whilst the upper ones are about 7cm (3in), oblong-oval in shape, toothed, downy above, more dense beneath.  Yellow flowers about 1cm (0.4in) across on very short stalks of five narrow obovate petals and 5-12 stamens in terminal spikes, the spike lengthening as the seed mature.  Overall darkish green colour and softly hairy, flowers are said to have an apricot smell.

Past classifications of Agrimony had a larger size variation of this plant categorised as A. odorata, with the smaller variation as A. Eupatoria.  This division has largely ceased in favour of all plants being A. Eupatoria.  The Cockeburr and Stickwort common names being derived from the seeds developing hooked stiff hairs that catch on clothing and animals.  Agrimony from Argemone, a Greek word for plants which were "healing to the eyes", and Eupatoria from Mithridates Eupator, a king renowned for herbal concoctions.

A related species, Fragrant Agrimony A. procera, has aromatic glands on stems and leaves.  Several other plants exist as "Agrimony", named by herbalists but not botanically related.

FBCP do not advise or recommend that Agrimony - Agrimonia eupatoria is eaten or used as an herbal remedy.   Known as a popular domestic medicinal plant from the Rose order of plants.  Flowers and leaves were dried as they retain their perfume for quite a time.  Also used for making herbal tea on it's own or added to other herbs.  Also used to produce a pale yellow dye.  A gargle made from Agrimony is said to help with throat infections.

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