Solipsist's picture

Reddish flowering shrub

Observed: 17th April 2010 By: Solipsist
H7233_Red shurb macro Woodwalton Fen 06 b_1k.jpg

Reddish brown flowering shrub growing about 2m high and covering large areas of wet fenland in Woodwalton Fen, Cambridgeshire

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Bog Myrtle (Myrica gale) interacts


Kluut's picture

Bog myrtle?

I am not familiar with bog myrtle, but I thought the flowers of that were upright rather than drooping??????
The flowers look more like the male flowers of sallow/crack willow/black willow (whatever common name you know it by) to me, given that it is described as a shrub, although it is similar to most willows.

dshubble's picture

Bog myrtle flowers

I believe the female catkins are pendulous,


Solipsist's picture


Bog myrlte looks very plausible to me.

Checking other sources it can get confusing, as the male and female flowers are quite dissimilar and although I've found some pictures of similar looking flowers, they generally also show the leaves out too. But that is probably just a question of exactly when the photo is taken.

On the pendulous issue, if I recall, the flowers were quite stiff - at least, stiffer than the catkins from most willows.

Kluut's picture

Female flowers

One thing to remember - the female flowers form the fruiting bodies, and in bog myrtle, they are rigid and upright. I would think it unlikely that a drooping female catkin would ever become upright as it ripened.
That would make these male catkins. Having hunted through the www, it seems likely that buds and fresh male catkins are erect rather than pendant, but they droop as they age.
Sweet gale seems a near certain ID.