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Manx Wildflower Souvenirs 19 May 2004

Isle of Man visitors are being encouraged to take home a selection of Manx wildflowers.

Although it's illegal to pick wildflowers from the Island's hedgerows and meadows, the Wildflowers of Mann project has made 20 varieties available in packets of seeds.

For the first time visitors can purchase the seeds, priced 1.50 a packet, from the Tourist Information Centre (TIC) in the Sea Terminal, Douglas.

June Collister, information centre manager, said:

"Selling seeds is a new venture for us but is part of our effort to promote all things Manx. They have been quite a talking point and make an unusual gift for both residents and visitors."

The seed packets feature the Manx Gaelic name for the flowers, as well as explaining the folklore behind the names - for instance why Sneezewort and Devil's Bit Scabious were so called - plus tips on how best to grow them.

The range available at the Sea Terminal TIC includes both of those plus meadow buttercup, bell heather, purple loosestrife, harebell, ox-eye daisy, wild angelica, sheep's bit, knapweed, field scabious and fairy flower (red campion). They are also available at the Manx Wildlife Trust headquarters at Tynwald Mills Craft Centre, St John's.

The Wildflowers of Mann project is a partnership funded by three Isle of Man Government departments - Department of Tourism and Leisure, Department of Transport and Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. Proceeds from the sale of the seeds will go to wildflower conservation on the Island.

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