Red bartsia - Western Isles Red Wildflowers
Red Bartsia - Hebridean Wildflowers
These lovely pink red flowers adorn the long stems throughout May to September in The Western Isles of Scotland.
Sometimes Classed as a Weed
This plant is often overlooked and sometimes classed as a weed, however its snap dragon like pink or red flowers are really very pretty.
These pretty red wildflowers are quite common here in the Western Isles as indeed they are throughout Scotland and the UK.
These lovely pinky red wildflowers belong to the Scrophulariaceae family the figwort family, a family of flowering plants.
These these flowers are often overlooked and even sometimes classed as weeds, however they really are quite beautiful.
The plant grows to heights of up to around 2 feet and it is an annual.
Red Bartsia is an annual, root-hemiparasite, growing up to 50cm.
Red Bartsia is actually partly parasitic, gaining extra nutrients from the roots of its nearby host grasses.
Red bartsia fastens onto the roots of the grasses near it and takes water and minerals from them, which actually makes the grasses around the plant weaker, which is why it is termed partly parasitic.
As its name suggests, the entire plant is vision of red and leafy flower spikes appear from June to September and you can often see it in fields or meadowland near to the sea.
The flowers are purplish pink tubes and approximately the same length as the calyx (9mm)The lower lip somewhat de flexed, the anthers often protruding, they have a likeness to a tiny snapdragon.
The flowers are in one-sided, slightly curved, leafy spikes. All the flowers that are on one stem will face the same direction.
It's straggly and branched and its hard stems are often slightly red. They are very hairy and are upright, often un branched with there sometimes being branches in the upper part of the stem
Red Bartsia is a straggly, downy plant with narrow, toothed leaves that sit opposite each other along the stems.
Pinky-purple flowers appear on the stems in clusters, nestling in the leaf axils (where they join the stem)
The leaves are green and are narrow and are toothed or regularly serrated and are opposite on the stem
The English Common Name for the plant is "Tootthwort"
Uses - Explains Perhaps the Botanical Name - Greek for Tooth
This pretty plant, the Red Bartsia was once used as cure for toothache, which could explain why its botanical name is odons, which is the name for a tooth in Greek.
Bees - Wasps - Insects
The bees, wasps and Insects love this wildflower
Click pictures below for larger photographs