Wednesday, 23 April 2014

All White

The theme for today's walk was definitely 'White'.  The first white thing which caught my attention was the Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata), an attractive member of the cabbage family, which is starting to bloom along the path-sides of Straw's Bridge.
The name comes from the scent of garlic which you get if you crush the leaves.  The flavour, when used in salads or as an ingredient of pesto, is of both garlic and mustard.
Next, we encountered a beautiful Bird Cherry (Prunus padus) in full bloom beside one of the lakes.  The bark of the Bird Cherry was, in medieval times, left outside the door to ward off the plague.  How effective a deterrent this was, is in doubt!
Further on, and under the trees of Pewit Carr, the Bluebells are somewhat different from their more familiar-coloured cousins in the rest of the area.
Why the Bluebells here are almost all white, is a mystery, but white they are, with just an odd blue one among them.
Lastly, a plant which has broken free of a neighbouring garden and has established itself along the pathway of Pewit Carr.  A native of Southern Europe, around the Mediterranean, the Three-cornered Leek or Garlic (Allium triquetrum) is superficially similar to the Bluebells above, but closer inspection reveals it's 'onion' ancestry (as does the scent).
All white indeed!
Part two of Chris Packham's Malta Massacre - not a comfortable watch!
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