Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Wild Spring flowers

Here are some tiny germander speedwell [Veronica chamaedrys] flowers - we called them cat's eyes but they are also known as angel's eyes and Paul's betony.

In French they are called Véronique petit Chêne [petit Chêne and chamaedrys mean dwarf oak and refers to the shape of the leaves although i think it would be very hard to mistake the speedwell leaves for oak leaves]

Some of the first sweet violets Viola odorata I saw this year. This one is surrounded by wood sorrel leaves [triple heart shaped leaves which are mistaken for shamrocks or clover leaves]
It doesn't seem like spring till i've seen some growing wild.

The colour varies from intense violet to lilacs and pinks to white - this one is particularly pink. I haven't seen any white ones this year,so far.


This is a lesser celandine flower [Ranunculus ficaria]. Its a relative of the buttercup and is also called the fig buttercup or pilewort because it used to be used to treat piles [haemorrhoids].

In german its called Scharbockskraut meaning scurvy wort because the new young leaves are high in vitamin c and were used for treating scurvy. This particular flower has quite rounded petals , usually they are longer and thinner.

A common daisy bud - this one has marked cerise pink edges to the petals.
A pure white daisy flower Bellis perennis. It is also called bruisewort and is still used in homoeopathy for minor crush type injuries after initial treatment with arnica.

In Scots its called bairnwort because kids have always liked to gather the flowers and make daisy chains.
Here are some flowers a child abandones on a tree stump. They had started making a chain but given up. It looked almost like an offering to a dryad or tree spirit.


Wood sorrel [Oxalis acetosella] is also known as 'soor dook' in Scots which is also the Scots name for a grumpy person. The 'soor-ness' or sourness is due to the high oxalic acid content and it used to be used as a salad herb but fell out of favour [its similar in taste to samphire].

Since its a spring plant it also has the name 'gowke meat' [cuckoo meat in Scots] and 'Pain de coucou' - Cuckoo bread in French.

The leaves fold up and open out according to the light conditions - they open out in shade and fold in direct sunshine or at night and in bad weather.
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4 comments:

marion said...

You'd never catch me taking so many photos of flowers ;-)

I particularly like the daisy bud -interesting texture, plus it looks like it has escaped from a Sci- Fi film where it had been playing an alien eye on a stalk!

marion said...

Absolutely love the new chicks banner. It is quite possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen!

Maggie said...

Lovely, lovely flower photos! The violets have just started flowering in our tiny back yard, maybe will get out with the macro lenses and have a play with them this afternoon.

platinum blonde said...

fantastic shots!! beyond gorgeous