Saturday, 24 June 2017

A Closer Look

Our walk this morning, gave me the opportunity to take a closer look at some of the less obvious flowers. Among the most commonly seen at the moment, are those belonging to the Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium.)
An imposing cousin of the carrot, this stately plant, gets its name from the smell of the flowers which is supposed to resemble that of a pig - although, I've never noticed a particularly 'piggy' smell. Their flowers show the characteristic of having larger petals on the outer edge of the umbel, giving the individual flowers a rather asymmetric shape.
Along the old railway lines of 'the Farm Walk', hundreds of tiny, pink flowers are dotted all over the place. These belong to the Common Centaury (Centaurium erythraea.)
A very pretty little flower, it is a member of the Gentian family and fairly common in the UK and is said to have medicinal properties when made into a tea, helping gastric and liver problems.
The Pea family is well represented in the English countryside, with everything from ground-hugging trefoils, to 100ft tall (introduced) Robinias. But among the most numerous of the peas, are the various Clovers. Firstly and most commonly seen around these parts, is the White Clover (Trifolium repens.)
Always popular with pollinating insects, the tiny, individual flowers start off white, but turn pink as they fade and wilt after pollination.
Closely related is the Red Clover (Trifolium pratense.)
Here too, the flowers open pale pink and fresh, but darken as they age. You see, it pays to take a closer look!
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