Narthecium ossifragum   Bog Asphodel C DD N

Narthecium ossifragum whole Narthecium ossifragum close

In very boggy areas in midsummer the Bog Asphodel will sometimes flower in large numbers. It has leaves like a miniature Iris and very exotic looking yellow flowers. In fruit the whole plant becomes an orangey colour and has been used as a substitute for saffron Dye.

Ossifragum suggests fragile bones and comes from the old idea that cattle feeding on this plant could break a leg. The reality is that it only grows in boggy areas which are typically Calcium deficient and it was the calcium deficiency that caused the problems.

Common in Wales, Scotland, Ireland and northern England but not the midlands or south of England the distribution of N. ossifragum reflects the neutral or acidic boggy habitat it pregers.

Narthecium ossifragum

Narthecium ossifragum Bog Asphodel

Slopes of Cul Mor, north west Scotland 25th July 2009

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Narthecium ossifragum Bog Asphodel

LHS: Ben Lawers nature Trail 11th July 2005 RHS: College Valley, Cheviots 17th July 2006

Added on September 19th 2005, updated 13th January 2011

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