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I photographed this striking spike of yellow flowers in a rocky area on the margin of a beach on Muckross Head in South West Donegal, Ireland.
I wasn’t sure at first what it was. I checked several wild flower reference books and searched the internet. The only yellow spikes that I could find were Mullein and Agrimony but while they are five petaled the petals seem a different shape from this flower.
I thought that it might be Mullein – but wasn’t really convinced. There are lots of sub-varieties of Mullein so I thought perhaps it was one of those that had specialized itself for a sea-shore environment that I was yet to find in the references.
So, and here is the RedBubble success story I added the photograph to the RedBubble group: ID Me and within an hour I had a suggestion from an Australian RB member, Yeuxdechat, that he thought that it might be something like Yellow Loostrife.
I know Purple Loostrife I see a lot of it … but wasn’t even aware that there was a yellow variety! So I went back to the wildflower books and websites and pretty soon I was sure that this was Dotted Loostrife.
In January 2011 the ID me group had a challenge for natural subjects that had been identified, called Identified and the group hosts chose this flower as the signature image of the challenge. With that advantage behind it, this photograph won the challenge! :-)
The flowers are yellow, with a darker redish-brown centre. They are 12–20 mm (0.5–0.8 in.) wide with five petals. The leaves are elliptical with pointy ends with fine hairs on the underside.
It grows in roadsides, ditches, wasteland. Flowering time: June–September.