Sprays of yellow flowers open in shady places (such as woodland edges and near hedgerows) usually between May and November although flowers can be found in every month of the year, the flowers developing into a bur-like head of fruits with reddish brown hooks. The root is used as a spice in soups and also for flavouring ale, whilst in folklore, it is credited with the power to drive away evil spirits, protect against rabid dogs, and deter and venomous snakes! It was associated with Christianity because its leaves grew in threes and its petals in fives (reminiscent of the Holy Trinity and the Five Wounds).
For best results, sow immediately onto a good soil-based compost. Cover the seeds with fine grit or compost to approximately their own depth. They can be sown at any time, and germination can sometimes be quicker if kept at 15 to 20 degrees C. We sow most seeds in an unheated greenhouse and wait for natural germination, as many seeds have built-in dormancy mechanisms, often waiting for natural spring germination, hence giving them a full season of growth.
Common name:Wood avens, Herb Bennet, Colewort , St. Benedict's herb