Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Cows and Horses

Along the paths, the usual spring flowers are in full bloom right now. among the most common are those of the Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris).
A member of the Carrot family, the white umbels of Cow Parsley are a sure sign that Summer is on its way.
Cow Parsley is sometimes referred to as Mother-die, a name it shares with another common flowering plant in the UK, the Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna). This morning, the warm sun was filling the air with the scent of the Hawthorn flowers.
Hawthorn petals are edible and can be added to salads and were once added to the medieval favourite 'pottage'. It was mentioned in Richard II's 'Forme of Cury' in about 1390.
Now for the Horses mentioned in today's title. I refer to the Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) which is also in full flower now.
Wonderful spires or 'panicles' of flowers, spotted with pink and yellow blotches decorate the ends of the branches. Up to about a foot long, the panicles are usually overlooked if they grow too high up on the tree, but a closer look is always worth it.
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