Stinking Iris on sea cliffs in Cornwall

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The Stinking Iris (above left) is very common on the sea cliffs around Cornwall at the moment. Its colouring is a bit dingy so its easily overlooked but its form is just as beautiful as the more widespread Yellow Iris (Iris pseudacorus) shown right.

Insight into Stinking Iris (Iris foetidissima): a native plant, locally frequent in the south of Britain to North Wales.

It has an unpleasant smell when bruised giving rise to some of its alternative names such as Roast Beef Plant, Adder’s Meat, Gladden and Stinking Gladwyn. Nicholas Culpeper says its leaves have “a strong disagreeable smell” which is really quite restrained!

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