Sunday 11 March 2012

A little too close to home?

When Phil at Cabinet of Curiosities recently blogged about a plant called Whitlowgrass, I was a bit puzzled by its description as "extremely widespread". I've lived in the north east of England, on the south coast and now somewhere in the middle of the country, but I couldn't recall seeing this little white flower before.

I guess alarm bells should've started ringing immediately, because one of those two statements must be wrong. So who would you believe? A senior lecturer in Botany or the second best plant spotter in Tense Towers? The solution wasn't long in turning up. Fortunately, yesterday, when Our Lass and I returned home from a walk around Little Linford Wood, I must've still been in natural history mode. For when I stepped out of the car and went to walk around to the boot, what should I spy growing by the kerb?

Common Whitlowgrass, Erophila verna
Doh! All this time, and it was right under my flippin' nose.

For years, I have thought that this plant was simply Shepherd's Purse, struggling to survive in a harsh environment. Indeed, Shepherd's Purse does grow here, but lesson learnt, never assume, always check.

1 comment:

Spadger said...

Ooo I say! Its almost like the typical line from a pantomime 'its behind you'! Or in this case .... below you! Cool picture and like you a plant I don't recollect. So I must have one outside my back door.