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Succisa Pratensis – Marginal Pond Plants – Pond Plants – Water Plants – BP105

£3.00£14.00

Succisa pratensis, commonly known as Devil’s-bit or Devil’s-bit Scabious, is a perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the honeysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae). It is native to Europe and can be found in a variety of habitats, including meadows, woodlands, and damp grasslands.

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Succisa Pratensis

Succisa pratensis, commonly known as Devil’s-bit or Devil’s-bit Scabious, is a perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the honeysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae). It is native to Europe and can be found in a variety of habitats, including meadows, woodlands, and damp grasslands. Here’s a description of Succisa pratensis:

  1. Growth Habit: Devil’s-bit is a clump-forming herbaceous perennial with slender stems that typically grow to heights of about 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 centimeters). The plant forms dense colonies and spreads slowly via rhizomes.
  2. Leaves: The leaves of Devil’s-bit are simple, lance-shaped, and arranged in opposite pairs along the stems. They have serrated margins and are dark green in color. The leaves are often hairy, especially on the undersides.
  3. Flowers: Devil’s-bit produces clusters of small, tubular flowers that are typically blue to violet-purple in color, although pink and white varieties are also known to exist. The flowers are borne on slender stems that arise from the leaf axils. They bloom from mid-summer to early autumn and are attractive to pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hoverflies.
  4. Roots: One of the most distinctive features of Devil’s-bit is its shortened root system. Unlike many other plants in the same family, which have long taproots, Devil’s-bit has a truncated root system that appears to have been bitten off, hence the common name “Devil’s-bit.” This unique adaptation may have evolved to prevent the plant from being pulled out of the ground by grazing animals.
  5. Habitat: Devil’s-bit is typically found in moist to wet habitats, including meadows, fens, marshes, and damp woodlands. It prefers neutral to slightly acidic soils and can tolerate partial shade.
  6. Ecological Importance: Devil’s-bit is an important plant for pollinators, providing a valuable source of nectar and pollen late in the growing season when fewer flowers are available. It also serves as a larval food plant for certain butterfly species, including the marsh fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia).
  7. Cultural Significance: In traditional herbal medicine, Devil’s-bit has been used for various purposes, including treating skin conditions, fevers, and wounds. However, its medicinal properties have not been extensively studied, and caution should be exercised when using it for medicinal purposes.

Overall, Succisa pratensis, or Devil’s-bit, is a charming and ecologically important perennial plant with attractive flowers and a unique root system. It adds beauty to wetland habitats and provides valuable resources for pollinators late in the season.

                                                                    

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