Monday, 9 July 2007
Bog Asphodel (Narthecium ossifragum/Beenbreek) is a plant found on wet, boggy moorlands. It produces spikes of bright yellow flowers in summer. The bright orange fruits have been used in the past as a colorant. The Latin as well as the Dutch name means “weak bone” and refers to a traditional belief that eating the plant caused sheep to develop brittle bones. The probable origin of this story is that sheep eating a calcium poor diet are likely to develop bone weakness, and Bog Asphodel favors acidic, low calcium soils. The plant is on the endangered species list in The Netherlands.