Colt’s Foot

After all that cold weather and snow it is lovely to see some spring flowers starting to appear in the Peak District countryside. Yesterday we saw some lovely Celandine on a grassy bank near to Hope. This afternoon we passed this patch of Colt’s Foot on the side of Ladybower Reservoir. The plant gets its name because the leaves, which appear after the flowers resemble a colt’s foot in cross section. In years gone by, the plant was used in herbal medicine, but it has now been discovered that it can cause liver problems so is no longer used. Continue reading Colt’s Foot

Devil’s Matchsticks

Quite a common site on the high moorlands of the Dark Peak, but maybe not everyone knows what they are? These are commonly known Devil’s Matchsticks. Like all lichens, the Devil’s matchstick is actually two organisms working together: a fungus and an algae in a symbiotic relationship. The red tips are the fruiting bodies of the fungal component of the lichen. Have a look for them next time you are walking across the Peak District’s peat covered moorlands. Continue reading Devil’s Matchsticks