Fig 1
DESCRIPTION: Height up to 50cm. The flowers are tubular, bright reddish-purple and borne in dense clusters at the end of sparsely leaved stems. The leaves are bluntly toothed and are long and heart-shaped with a rounded tip. Most leaves are found in the basal rosette. DISTRIBUTION: Common in England and Wales. Absent elsewhere. HABITAT: Sandy or chalky soils, grasslands and woodlands. FLOWERING TIME: June to September. FURTHER INFO: The plants use for headaches also gives it its name Betony which is derived from the ancient Celtic words bew (head) and ton (good). Stachys arises from the Greek meaning 'ear of stalk' which refers to fact that the inflorescences look like a spike. Early folklore states that Betony can be used to prevent dreams, combat sorcery and supress ghostly activity in churchyeards. It is valued highly for its astringent properties and is useful in the treatment of problems such as diarrhea as well as ailments of the throat, mouth, and gums.

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