Saturday, 20 March 2010


Continuing our theme of yellow plants in full bloom at the moment, one of the most common plants is a member of the cabbage family. not that you would know it as you glance at its minute flowers. Carrichtera annua has flowers only about half an inch across, but are no less beautiful for their diminutive proportions.
Far more showy and much more brightly coloured is this low growing, creeping plant known as a Sea Aster (Asteriscus maritimus).
Rather more spiny and prickly, is a relative of the thistles called Field Eryngo (Eryngium campestre). This is a useful medicinal herb and is used to treat whooping cough and urinary infections. The root can be candied and eaten as a sweet.
Another spiny one - although not so prickly as the last plant - is the Pallenis spinosa. Related to sunflowers, it's bracts which surround the inflorescence are tipped with a spine.
Lastly for today, we move away from the yellow theme to look at another very common plant. The Dorycnium (Dorycnium pentaphyllum). This has numerous, tiny pinkish-white flowers which are borne in little whorls at the ends of the stems. You will have to look very closely to see the true beauty of this one as the individual flowers are so small. But it's well worth the effort.
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