Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Tims and Tongues

A couple of all-green plants today. To start with, a grass, familiar to some of us but like most grasses, not always easy to identify. This one is called Timothy (Phleum pratense).

A perennial grass grown all over Europe except the most southern, Mediterranean regions. Growing to 5ft tall and topped with a spike of green flowers up to 6" long, it is grown as a fodder crop and is a staple part of hay for farm animals. The pollen produced by Timothy is a particular nuisance to hay fever sufferers.
Secondly a fern. This one was found growing out of the dam wall of the Mapperley Reservoir and is known as Hart's Tongue Fern (Asplenium scolopendrium).

It has been used in antiquity as a 'spleen tonic'. Quite what one is supposed to do with it in order to achieve this restorative effect, is not made known!
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