What a joy to be able to identify plants as we walked across Barnes Common yesterday. I have had the PictureThis app on my iPhone for well over a year, but it really came into its own as we walked around Mill Hill and back.
Alongside relatively common plants like Comfrey, Gorse, Scottish broom, Sheep sorrel, Ribwort plantain, Hedge mustard, Wall barley, Greater Celandine and Star of Bethlehem, we came across Sicilian honey garlic for the first time. The latter’s leaves tasted as advertised.
The richness of plant names was illustrated by the Star of Bethlehem, aka as Garden star-of-Bethlehem, Sleepydick, Nap-at-noon, Grass lily, Summer snowflake, Snowdrop, Starflower, Bird’s milk, Chinkerichee, Ten-o’clock lady, Eleven-o’clock lady, Bath asparagus, and star of Hungary. And Dove’s dung.
I’d be rather less inclined to taste Ripgut brome which we saw on the Common or the Hemlock water-dropwort we saw along the banks of Beverley Brook, a plant whose common names include Dead tongue and Dead man’s fingers.
Wonderful sense of walking through a landscape in multiple dimensions. Past, present and future. Plants, insects, birds, and people representing many more nationalities and family trees than might have been the case in the sixteenth century, for example.