Thursday, May 09, 2019


Least Yellow-sorrel (Oxalis exilis). Swindon, 7th May 2019. A diminutive plant native to New Zealand and Tasmania.

Similar to the much commoner garden relic Procumbent Yellow-sorrel (Oxalis corniculata), but much smaller, and rarely with purple leaves. Also, Oxalis exilis has ten stamens but only five of them produce anthers (zoom in on the pic above to see what I mean); Oxalis corniculata has ten anthers.

Least Yellow-sorrel (Oxalis exilis). Swindon, 9th May 2019. 

I wake up. My head is lying comfortably on a polyester pillow. The raw materials of polyester come from crude oil derivatives. A chilly morning. I put on my cardigan, made by a popular California clothing brand called Cherokee -- a Native American people from the SE USA (to be fair the name Cherokee is a colonist's term for the people and is not the term in their own language; it must be based on a native language, but the origin has not been satisfactorily explained). It's a polyester cardigan, so is very cosy, never creases and is resistant to stains; in fact virtually indestructible. My Dad passed it on to me. I suppose my Mum bought it some time before 2015, when the Cherokee brand was being sold in the UK in Tesco stores. It does need a wash now and then: it was hanging on a plastic-covered dryer in front of the radiator. The radiator is pleasantly warm. It's fuelled by gas: around 40% from the UK, the rest from Russia, Norway and other places. I can go straight out into the garden with my tea and look at how the plants I picked up at the garden centre are doing. I dug them down yesterday: no sign of slug damage, though yesterday's stormy showers snapped some blooms off the new Aubretia. I put the plastic pots away in the shed. Later on we'll go for a walk in the countryside. We'll be shod in plastic trainers, and we'll both carry plastic drinks bottles. It's a simple life. (This is a car-free day, and I'm trying not to think about the £1,000 estimate that the garage have just told me about.) I play a Swedish folk-tune on my guitar, which has new nylon strings.

Mexican Orange-blossom (Choisya ternata). Swindon, 7th May 2019.

Mexican Orange-blossom (Choisya ternata). Swindon, 7th May 2019.

Stone Parsley (Sison amomum). Swindon, 7th May 2019.

A common plant in Swindon. It's a biennial: the photo shows emerging first-year and second-year plants.

Stone Parsley is said to be edible: most authoritatively here, but that's an 1884 source. I haven't seen any recent accounts. Perhaps not many people are tempted to try it, in view of the plant's unpleasant petrol smell ... setting aside the general danger of messing around with wild Apiaceae, a family which includes many highly toxic species as well as garden herbs (parsley, dill, coriander, caraway, angelica, lovage) and food plants (carrot, celery, fennel).

Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia). Swindon, 7th May 2019

Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia). Swindon, 7th May 2019.



At 11:59 am, Blogger Vincent said...

1915? surely some mistake ...

At 12:03 pm, Blogger Michael Peverett said...

Well spotted! Thank you!


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