Wednesday, 9 June 2010


Once again, Malcolm and I are 'confined to barracks' with the rain falling and the ways foul. Lets hope it stops raining later and we can get at least a short walk. In the meantime, some pics from our sunnier walks...
Firstly an old favourite of the British countryside, the Ragged Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi). Closely related to the Pinks and Campions, it has the most extraordinary petals.
It's easy to see where it gets the name 'Ragged' from when you take a close look at the five, deeply divided petals which give it a look as if it has been attacked with a pair of scissors.
The Latin name harks back to it's old name of Cuckoo Flower (a name we now give to a different plant altogether - the Lady's Smock). In French it is called Fleur de coucou and the Spanish know it as either Flor-de-cuco or Flor del cuclillo. Whatever you like to call it, you can't deny it is one of our most striking and easily recognisable flowers.
Next, another common plant which we all love to see growing along roadsides and hedgerows, the Oxeye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare also called Chrysanthemum leucanthemum or Leucanthemum leucanthemum). A stately plant with a showy flower atop it's slender stems. The flower is 'compound', otherwise known as a composite inflorescence made up of many individual florets which sit together on a disc shaped capitulum. The outer flowers or Ray florets, have a large large, petal-like 'ligule' making the whole flower head look like one single flower.
I could get on to the 'Golden Ratio' (approximately 1.618) and it's link to the spiral arrangement of the florets which make up the disc, but I think that will have to wait for another day! Enough of the long names and fancy words for today, have a cup of tea, sit back and just enjoy the flowers
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