Saturday, 27 June 2009

Two New Flowers.

This morning's walk was not very long as it was so humid and 'sticky', but we found two plants which I hadn't photographed before. Firstly was the Black or Common Knapweed. A member of the Daisey family, it is also known as the Lesser Knapweed (Centaurea nigra)

Looking rather like other members of the Centaurea genus including Cornflowers, it is a familiar flower of the British hedgerow.
Secondly is the Woody Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara). This plant has many different common names including bittersweet, bittersweet nightshade, bitter nightshade, blue bindweed, climbing nightshade, fellenwort, felonwood, poisonberry, poisonflower, scarlet berry, snakeberry, trailing bittersweet, trailing nightshade, violet bloom. Quite a list.

Most of us know it from our childhood as 'Deadly Nightshade', everyone's parents warned their children off it with tales of illness and death. True Deadly Nightshade is, however something very different. Bittersweet is a member of the Solanaceae family which includes Potatoes, Tomatoes, Aubergines and Peppers. The berries of the Bittersweet are poisonous, as are the leaves, but the flowers are very beautiful as the petals curl back to reveal the conical column of stamens.
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