Scientific Names: Aphanes arvensis, syn. Alchemilla arvensis
Other names: Colickwort, Field Lady's Mantle, Parsley Breakstone
An annual with ephemeral tendencies, producing seeds for a long period. It spreads to form a small clump about 4 cm high, by creeping hairy stems and is found in poor, free-draining soil and on paths. The name may derive from 'perce-pierre' as it seems to 'break through' stoney ground, another common name being Parsley Breakstone which arose from its use medicinally to treat kidney stones. Colic was a term used for the pain of kidney stones, hence Colickwort. It is still used in herbal medicine as an infusion of the fresh leaves to increase urinary flow to treat cystitis and urinary tract stones.
Small quantities of the leaves can be added to salads.
Minute green flowers at the base of the leaves appear from April to September.
Uprooting it is easy, but there will be seed which will ensure it returns, though it is not usually a problem weed. It is crowded out by more vigorous plants so if it is in the lawn, allowing the grass to grow a bit longer and applying some fertilizer should remove it.
(17th century astrologer-physician)
"If a dram of the powder be taken in white wine it will bring away gravel from the kidneys"
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