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Reddish Vale Country Park

Flowers/May

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Charlock

Charlock is annual and probably native plant, common all over the British Isles.

Also known as 'wild mustard'.

A weed of arable land and roadsides Grows to a height of 80cm.

 

 

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A number of species of native plants are called gool, guilde, gullan or gowan, typically referring to the gold, or yellow flowers possessed by the species. In many cases, the plants are also weedy in habit and two species, in particular were considered a pest. Guilde was a vernacular name for both charlock and wild radish and these were the subject of a practice in which a nobleman of an area would ride with his bailiffs over his land and ensure that these two weeds were being kept under control. The custom was called 'riding of the guilde'.

In Scotland the seeds were eaten in times of scarcity. In 1884 it was recorded: ' for about three months of the year, when grain supplies had run out, any bread eaten was made from the seed of wild mustard or charlock and was called, reuthie bread, reuth being the local Orkney name for such seeds.