This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol2-4", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
The small amount of honey makes it unattractive to insects with a long proboscis. It is not usually self-pollinated, but the partial separation of the sexes makes for cross-pollination. It is not often that male and female organs are equally developed, but usually either the stamens are fully developed and the pistil is short, barely projecting above the honey-secreting ring, or the style is long and projects and the anthers are completely useless. Sometimes flowers occur in which one or two stamens are developed as well as the pistil. It is visited by Xantho-gramma, Flies, and Butterflies. The plant is becoming dioecious, stamens and carpels being often found on different plants.
The glandular achenes are enclosed in the membranous calyx and are chiefly dispersed by the wind.
The leaves are checked in growth by a fungus, Uromyces alchemillae. A beetle, Phyllobius viridicollis, two moths, the Small Rivulet (Emmelesia alchemillata), Lampronia praelatella, and a Homopterous insect, Trioza scutipennis, live upon it.
Alchemilla, Tragus, is from the same Arabic origin as alchemy, from its supposed virtues, and the second Latin name from its universality.
Lady's Mantle is called Bear's-foot, Dew cup, Duck's-foot, Great Sanicle, Lady's Mantle, Lamb's Foot, Lion's Foot, Padelion, Pedelyon, Syndaw. The name Dew cup is given to it because the moisture, owing to the hairs on the surface, collects in a drop in the middle of the leaf, which thus appears unwetted. It was also called Our Lady's Mantle. It is the Maria Stakker of Iceland, which produces sleep if placed under the pillow. It had a reputation for restoring feminine beauty. It is astringent.
Essential Specific Characters: 101. Alchemilla vulgaris, L. - Herbaceous, erect, leaves reniform, plaited lobed, hairy, flowers yellowish-green, terminal, in racemes or cymes.