Tag Archives: Smyrnium olusatrum

Wildflower Wednesday – late May 2015

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I’m a day late joining the Wildflower Wednesday meme, but excited to report that it’s Sea Thrift (Armeria maritima) time again on the Duver.

As last year, I’m struggling to convey the scale and beauty of these wonderful blooms.IMG_7537

In this photo, the thrift is joined in the foreground by Silverweed (Potentilla anserina).  This has a pretty silvery leaf (clue’s in the name!) and spreads by runners.  It seems to be increasing its hold on the Duver, with significant areas now covered in an argent carpet.IMG_7548

Also joining the Thrift are the first spires of Digitalis, projecting through the marram grass.IMG_7553

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Further out on the sandy spit, the first of the Evening Primrose, Oenothera biennis are also blooming.IMG_7567

The small patch of Bladder Campion (Silene vulgaris) is just coming into bloom.  As I mentioned last year, according to Sarah Raven it’s ‘edible and said to taste like peas – the young shoots are good in a spring salad or as quickly wilted greens’ but I’ll continue to leave the wild campions alone and instead pick my peas at home!IMG_7204

And to finish, two photos of the field opposite the house.

The first was taken a couple of weeks ago, and I don’t remember ever seeing the cow parsley, Anthriscus sylvestris so tall, or the Alexanders, Smyrnium olusatrum providing quite such a lime green sea.IMG_7175

Yesterday, the scene was rather different as the fluffy white clouds have been strimmed away. Bizarrely it reminds me of a newly shorn dog, all exposed and uncomfortable.  Doubtless it will all grow back and soften up once more.IMG_7529

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

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.

 

 

Wildflower Wednesday – late December 2014

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The last Wildflower Wednesday of the year features photos actually taken on a rather grey looking Monday.  Despite the gloom, however, a number of white blooms were showing up well – Daucus carota,IMG_5584

wild garlicIMG_5586

Winter heliotrope, Petasites fragransIMG_5588

and the odd slightly tatty looking chamomile.IMG_5609

More ‘sunny’ (I wish!) a good showing of broomIMG_5604

much rarer, a single thrift flower still showing some colour against the papery remains of many others.IMG_5608

But to end on a more forward looking note – amongst fierce looking thorns on the dog rose, new buds peeping.  Roll on spring!IMG_5596

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

 

Return to the Duver

IMG_1484During Tuesday’s moody mistiness I finally completed the usual dog walk to the Duver for the first time since spraining my ankle on the 12th.

The main change has been an explosion of lime green Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum).

According to Sarah Raven in her “Wild Flowers” book it is “supremely edible, with a flavour a bit like celery, parsley or chervil…..the best tasting bit comes from the centre, blanched naturally by the outer layers of leaves”.  Well perhaps I’ll give it a go, the ladybird seems to like it:IMG_1489 (2)As well as the Alexanders, there is a large patch of wild garlic flowering (which I could also eat, I feel a forage coming on!)IMG_1487Further down towards the coast there was a lovely selection of different catkins

IMG_1497and then finally at the coast, well not much to see at all.IMG_1502