We have a small planting of Hyoscamus niger (Henbane) that has just started flowering in the Target 8 bed. As a biennial it takes two years to flower, and will then produce vast quantities of seed and die. The flowers emit a fishy smell and the seeds are thought to live for at least 700 years. It is found mainly in waste grounds and maritime areas, but is now declining due to the increased use of herbicides and loss of suitable habitat.

Henbane flower

This herb was introduced to Britain prior to the 1500’s, and has a long history of medicinal use, though it is extremely poisonous to both animals and humans. So enjoy looking at these wierd and wonderful flowers while they last.