Wild Harris

Bog Asphodel

Bog Asphodel 1 LCampbell.jpgBog Asphodel    (Photo: Laurie Campbell)

This plant has a stunning flower that sets the moorland on fire in late spring. It is common on gently sloping peaty hillsides often growing in patches forming a mosaic across the hillside. After Flowering the old upright flower stalks can still be found up to a year later.

Bog Asphodel 3 SNH.jpgBog Asphodel    (Photo: Scottish Natural Heritage)

The Latin name for Bog Asphodel (ossifragum) means bone breaker! This seems odd but people used to think that if their livestock fed on Bog Asphodel they got brittle bones. It’s probably not the Bog Asphodel that was responsible for this but because the moorland soil contains very little calcium, any livestock feeding out on the moor all year round might not be getting enough calcium which could lead to brittle bones.

by Robin Reid