SQUINANCYWORT

Asperula cynanchica

Bedstraw Family [Rubiaceae]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8white
inner
inner8pink
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ4
type
typeZclustered
stem
stem8square

15th June 2010, Hampsfell, Grange over Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
A very low plant, found in grassy limestone areas.


15th June 2010, Hampsfell, Grange over Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Has pinkish white flowers and narrow linear leaves in whorls of four.


15th June 2010, Hampsfell, Grange over Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Tiny flowers less than 4mm across with four pointed off-white petals which become more pink towards the centre.


15th June 2010, Hampsfell, Grange over Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Flowers have pinkish red expanding tubes that widen out into four re-curved petals. Sepals short and with points. Stems rough.


15th June 2010, Hampsfell, Grange over Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Re-curved petals, with four anthers in the middle.


15th June 2010, Hampsfell, Grange over Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The pollen seems to be golden.


15th June 2010, Hampsfell, Grange over Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Petals have irregular edges as if torn. Golden pollen shines within.


15th June 2010, Hampsfell, Grange over Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Four anthers without pollen.


15th June 2010, Hampsfell, Grange over Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Four narrow linear leaves at each (reddish/brown) node. Stems are square like they are in most Woodruffs.


11th July 20113, Levin Down Nature Reserve, Singleton, West Sussex. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
In these specimens each recurved petal has three parallel indented veins which are coloured pale pink.


Easily confused with : [a plant of similar name]

Subspecies : There are two sub-species; this one, Asperula cynanchica ssp. cynanchica, and a much rarer one called Asperula cynanchica ssp. cynanchica var. densiflora. The examples above are all of the first sub-species.

Some similarities to : Field Madder which is also pink and also belongs to the same Bedstraw Family, but Field Madder has wider leaves which are in whorls of 4 to 6.

Narrow linear leaves in whorls of four up the square stems. The leaves are sometimes of un-equal length.

It obtains it name from once being a herb to treat Quinsy (formerly called squinancy) (a bacterial infection of the tonsils often following tonsillitis), but is no longer used medicinally, antibiotics being more appropriate.


  Asperula cynanchica  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Rubiaceae  

Distribution
 family8Bedstraw family8Rubiaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Asperula
Asperula
(Woodruffs)

SQUINANCYWORT

Asperula cynanchica

Bedstraw Family [Rubiaceae]

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