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Rosebay Willow Herb

Neil Dickinson (July)

I took this snap on our recent IML Assessment course in Zinal, Switzerland.
Growing here on the site of a recent forest fire, Rosebay Willow Herb is the first plant to flourish in the open space and carbon-rich soil.

This interesting plant is equally common in the UK and is also known as 'Fireweed' where it can often be seen growing on burned moorland areas. Speak to any one who lived through World War Two and they will no doubt recall the Fireweed that grew through the all too common piles of rubble and the bombed out ruins that had previously been houses.

In the Glasgow area I believe it is still referred to as 'Singer' weed as many recall how it grew through the ruins of the Huge Singer Sewing machine factory at Clydebank after it was destroyed by bombing raids in the Second World War.

Whatever you refer to it as, the way it seizes the opportunity to take over a newly vacated area is impressive and I'm sure the beautiful dusky pink flowers that bloom around August were an uplifting sight back in those war-torn times.

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