Reddish Vale Country Park
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Bistort is a heraceous flowering plant found throughout Europe.
It grows on roadsides and meadows often in large patches.
Bistort can grow up to 60cm high, with few almost sessile leaves, ending in a dense spike of pink or red flowers.The root is S-shaped, dark to red brown on the outside, light brown internally.
The plant may be propagated by division of the rootstock.
The name Bistort comes from the Latin words bis and tort meaning twice twisted, referring to the character of the rootstock.
In the past, the roots and leaves have had a good reputation as a remedy for wounds and the plant was cultivated for its medicinal uses as well as a vegetable.
The seeds were often used to fatten poultry.
Bistort has many other names including, Adderwort, Dragonwort, Easter-giant, Easter ledger, Easter ledges, Easter magiant, Oysterloit, Passion dock, Patience dock, Pink pokers, Red legs, Snake weed, Twice-writhen and Water ledges.
Other names include, Pudding grass and Pudding dock, these names refer to Yorkshire tradition of making Dock Pudding, which is made at Easter and bistort is the most important ingredient along with hard boiled eggs, oatmeal and other herbs. There are many variations on the recipe and even an annual Dock Pudding World Championship.