There are a lot of flowers with ugly names. Baby's Breath comes to mind (as lovely as babies are, are they really ...fragrant?), or, um, the stinking corpse lily. But here's one you may not have heard of before: Danish scurvy grass.
It sounds ...ugly, but exciting. Like a swashbuckling pirate flower, ready to terrorise other flowers with a motley crew of floral brigands. But while Danish scurvy grass may not actually be an old sea dog, it does have something in common with a mariner: it just loves the salty sea. In fact, Danish scurvy grass is one of the most salt-tolerant flowers around.
And what happens in Britain when it snows? We put salt on the roads.
As a result, this surprisingly pretty wee flower (see images) is springing up all over the place. Snow falls, the council put down salt, and other, less salt-tolerant plants, fear to grow. But not the swashbuckling scurvy grass.
Dr Dines, from Plantlife, explains: "It has had the most dramatic changes in distribution of any wild plant in Britain. This ties in with snow and icy conditions on the roads.
"Most plants hate salt. When salt is put down on a road, you get this area called the salt burn.
"Most vegetation is burned. There are several other plants that have spread from the sea shore but Danish scurvy grass has spread the fastest.
"It's all down to to a trick within its chemistry. It can cope with the salt where other plants would perish.
"This little bit of burnt road verge becomes available to it as a place to move into and spread. It is opening up a bit of habitat."
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