Agrimonia pilosa Agrimonia pilosa

© Copyright: Images: Jouko Lehmuskallio.
All rights reserved.

Fragrant Agrimony

Agrimonia procera

  • Family: Rose Family – Rosaceae
  • Growing form: Perennial herb. Rhizomatous.
  • Height: 40–150 cm (16–60 in.). Stem long-haired, grooved.
  • Flower: Corolla regular (actinomorphic), yellow, approx. 10 mm (0.4 in.) broad; petals 5, often with notched tips, 4–5 mm (0.15–0.2 in.) long. Calyx 5-lobed. Stamens usually 12. Gynoecium separate, pistils 2. Inflorescence a long spike, flowers fragrant.
  • Leaves: Alternate, stalked, stipulate. No basal rosette. All leaves almost the same size, usually longer than internodes. Blade pinnate, 3–7-pairs, with terminal leaflet. Leaflets lanceolate, large-toothed, underside sparsely haired, with abundant glandular hairs, green–greyish green. Small, lobed–almost entire leaflets intermixed with large ones. Crushed leaves have a powerful fragrance.
  • Fruit: With hooked hairs, upper part weakly grooved, approx. 11 mm (0.44 in.) long pome. Lowest hooked hairs spreading backwards.
  • Habitat: Broad-leaved forests, coppices, pastures, meadows. Calciphile.
  • Flowering time: July–August.

Fragrant agrimony grows in Finland at the northernmost limits of its habitat, and its stands are limited to the south-western archipelago. It is quite common only on the Åland Islands where there are 30 known areas that it grows in: on the mainland it can only be found around Inkoo and Korppoo, but apart from that it doesn’t seem to grow on the mainland. Fragrant agrimony thrives especially well in areas of human activity, especially in a traditional environment and areas that have been marginally affected.

Fragrant agrimony thrives in shady places, just like its relative common agrimony (A. eupatoria), and it can even temporarily benefit from being choked by other plants. The demise of meadows and grazing land, and their subsequent replacement by thickets and forest, is bad news for the plant, however. It is not always able to propagate itself by seed among thick growth, and it spreads slowly organically compared to other meadow plants. Fragrant agrimony was probably able to take advantage of traditional cattle-farming methods as its ripe fruit has curved hairs which allow it to stick to a mammal’s fur, birds’ feathers or people’s clothes, spreading efficiently from place to place.

Finnish agrimonies grow largely in the same habitats and can even grow together in the same spot. It is a waste of time however to start looking around fragrant agrimony’s base for the kind of basal rosette that is typical of common agrimony, and another difference is that its leaflets are more tapered and less hairy. It’s easiest to differentiate between the species during the fruiting stage as fragrant agrimony’s receptacle is broader, weakly grooved and its lowest prehensile barbs are clearly spread towards the base. Each species is however adapting, so there are plants that are difficult to identify. In keeping with its name, fragrant agrimony’s leaflets are very aromatic when crushed.

Hairy Agrimony

Agrimonia pilosa

The very rare hairy agrimony also grows in compact areas on the mainland, from Hollola to Kuhmo. Like fragrant agrimony it went along with old-fashioned ways of using the land that have since declined. Hairy agrimony is classified as endagered species and is protected.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family
Trees and bushes from the same family

Follow us!

Identify species!

Sivun alkuun / Top of the page