Tuesday, 13 May 2014

pignut ..


Not a childish insult but a plant with an image problem due to its name - pignut (conopodium majus).

Pignut is a pretty little perennial and a member of what Jill and I still call the umbellifer family (although now mysteriously renamed by the botanists the apiacae).

Its leaves are are green and delicate. Its umbel flower is also an understated little starburst of white.

Here it is, growing against the thorn hedge we planted along the boundary in February 2011. You can see that the scythe operative needs to have his wits about him or all kinds of treasures could be mown down.

The pignut name comes from its chestnut sized tuber, loved equally by pigs and other foragers. Pignut is not the prettiest name for what is a lovely, often overlooked little plant. I'll leave it to establish a good patch - but hope to harvest some of the seeds. They'll make a pretty addition as the wildflower meadows develop.

Along most of its length, the hedge of hawthorn, field maple, hazel, yew, holly, spindle and scrambling honeysuckle is flourishing. An understory of wildflowers will only add to its appearance.

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