Tag Archives: Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima

Wildflower Wednesday – January 2015

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These photos were actually taken on Saturday because it was just such a beautiful morning.  Quite a contrast from this morning’s walk, when the wind was blowing the rain horizontally!

The picture above shows the lovely tracery of branches of our old friend, the over-the-road-oak.

Googling ‘Sea Beet’ for this week’s post, I came across the following article from the Guardian from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, which highlights three plants which can be foraged in the UK. All of them are growing on the Duver and looking good right now, in the middle of winter -Alexanders, Smyrnium olusatrumIMG_5882

Sea beet, Beta vulgaris subsp. maritimaIMG_5886

and Wild garlic or Ramsons,  Allium ursinum.IMG_5876

I’ve never foraged from the Duver (other than blackberries) but I’ve definitely enjoyed wild garlic.  However, that has been picked from my garden, where I’m desperately trying to eradicate it!

There really isn’t much sea beet on the Duver so I think that should be left well alone, but there must be nearly an acre of Alexanders.  Perhaps I should give that a try – according to Hugh F-W “The flavour is aromatic, fragrant – a little musky, a touch juniper-ish”.

In addition to the three plants above, I saw plenty of Winter heliotrope or Butterbur, Petasites fragrans.IMG_5880

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Gorse, Ulex europaeusIMG_5892

and something I’ve not seen before.  These fresh, green, sword shaped leaves were obscured by scrubby growth that was removed by the National Trust earlier in the year.  This has opened up the view and also cleared the area to allow these plants to thrive.  I think they must be Iris foetidissima, see close up of leaves below.IMG_5883

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Assuming that’s what they are, I look forward to seeing them all in flower.

To finish, a couple more photos – the first showing the marram grass, Ammophila,  glossy in the winter sunshine,IMG_5894

and a final one, a little nod towards spring.IMG_5899

With thanks as ever to Gail at Clay and Limestone for hosting the Wildflower Wednesday meme.