It has become apparent in recent times that the use of intensive farming practices, increased use of chemicals, destruction of natural habitat, loss of meadows and damage to bogs, as well as out-stretched development of urban areas have had a detrimental effect on native Irish flora.  The Irish have always had an intimate relationship with the land but with the advent of affluence the land has become perceived as less important and not as vital to our survival than at any other time in our history. However, with the current economic downturn the need for all of us to consider closely where our future lies as individuals and as a nation has left us in a state of introspection.  But this can be a very positive experience for the psyche and one we need to grab with both hands.  It is time to examine closely the fabric of our lives and what is truly important in our lives, family, love, friendship, community, nature, sustainable living, etc.

As Herbalists the IRH believe it’s important to highlight what we believe to be threatened species, Native Irish Plant Species (NIPS) especially those that have been used for hundreds of years for healing and medicine.  This is a great time for change in Ireland and on this site the IRH wish to list 17 threatened NIPS. It has to be pointed out that this list is by no means exhaustive as the actual number and species of plants threatened vary throughout the country. This list will change over time but its main purpose will remain the same: to bring awareness to the receding wild habitat and native herbs ~ if you see these plants in the wild send them love, maybe take a photo, and tell us about them.

Also, if you have access to land whether it be your own or someone you know who would be interested then please start planting these plants.  Lets get the seed out there!

Further Reading ~ Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

Below are a list of places you can get access to nursery plants or seeds:

Threatened Species

  1. Stachys officinalis (Betony)
  2. Filipendula vulgaris (Dropwort)
  3. Verbascum thapsus (Mullien)
  4. Althea officinalis (Marshmallow)
  5. Mentha aquatica (Water Mint)
  6. Symphytum officinale (Comfrey)
  7. Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s Wort)
  8. Primula veris (Cowslip)
  9. Artemisia vulgaris (Mugwort)
  10. Agrimonia eupatoria (Agrimony)
  11. Mentha pulegium (Pennyroyal)
  12. Sanguisorba officinalis (Great Burnet)
  13. Asparagus officinalis (Asparagus)
  14. Alchemilla alpina (Alpine Lady’s Mantle)
  15. Drosera rotundifolia (Round-leafed Sundew)
  16. Menyanthes trifoliata (Bogbean)
  17. Hyoscyamus niger (Henbane)

Some useful links: