Monday, June 1, 2009

Emblems of summer




There are plenty of emblematic species that mark the transition from winter into spring – violets, primroses, wood anemones, etc. But which are the wild flowers that mark the fuzzier boundary between the end of spring and the beginning of summer? There’s an official date on the calendar but for me the botanical signal comes when the first wild roses open (top picture) in the hedgerow and the roadsides are fringed with the frothy blossom of cow parsley (bottom pictures). Anyone got any alternative suggestions?

6 comments:

  1. Lovely picture of the rose Phil.
    How about when the stinging nettles are in full sway? There's masses of them here now; and poppies flowering almost everywhere.

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  2. They're definitely two good ones, Keith. I was walking past a patch of nettles in ysterday's heat and they were giving off that distinctive nettle smell that's definitely a feature of a summer day.

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  3. I agree with Cow parsley; it is a wonderful sight and when that goes other umbelifers such as upright hedge parsley take over. For me the plant that signifies the start of summer are the Cranesbills especially Bloody and Wood which fortunately we are blessed with up here.

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  4. Couldn't agree more about the crane'sbills,abbey meadows. A haymeadow full of meadow crane'sbill, or the magnificient display of bloody crane'sbill between Dunstanburgh castle and Low Newton, have to be two of the North East's floral highlights

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  5. I love to see the wild roses in bloom even if they do make life difficult and not a little painful as they try to bridge gaps in hedges.

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  6. Hi John, I know what you mean - I've got a dog rose in my hedge that produces long, arching stems of flowers at this time of year but when I have to cut the hedge later in summer it always finds a way to draw blood.

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