Friday, 13 July 2012

Yellow

No walk in the park this morning, so a couple of pictures from a few days ago - both of yellow flowers found growing about the area.  Firstly, a small and rather pale member of the pea family.  Hop Trefoil (Trifolium campestre) is an important fodder plant and also - as with most of the pea family - they help to 'fix' nitrogen in the soil.  They get their name by virtue of the fact that the flower heads look like small Hops as they lose their pale, yellow colouring and dry out.
Secondly, a member of the Daisy family.  Commonly known as Goat's-beard, this plant is closely related to the well-known Salsify and indeed is also known as Meadow Salsify (Tragopogon pratensis).
The roots are edible, as are the flower buds and it is to be found almost all over Britain, except the coastal fringes.  When the flower sets seed, it forms a 'clock' rather like the more familiar Dandelion, but the clocks of Goat's-beard are much larger and more open in structure.  Apparently, the sticky, white latex which exudes from the cut stems, is collected and dried and then used by children in Armenia, as bubble-gum.  I'll not be trying that one!
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