Over this weekend my friend Ana and I have been out walking again, and while we were walking Ana said how much she would like to find orchids. A few years ago, before Ana got interested in photographing the world around her, I had taken lots of pictures of bee orchids growing around the gravel works on the sandy soil, but since them we haven’t see them.
This morning we met up at 6.30 and decided to walk along a path we hadn’t taken for quite awhile just hoping to see something different. Sunday morning we were out for three and half hours exploring a newly found path which delighted us both with bird songs and dancing butterflies.
When I arrive home after our walks I look forward to upload my photographs not only to see if they come out all right but to check on the names of plants, insects or fungi I haven’t recognised.
As a writer, I like to get my facts right, so when Ana asks me about a plant I always tell her I need to do a bit of research first before I can be sure of what they are called.
Yesterday, I recognised this yellow plant from my garden, but I wasn’t sure of its name as I always thought it was called the Rose of Sharon, but on checking I discovered it was in fact called, Tutsan. This amazing plant was once used to help to close flesh wounds when its leaves, which contains antiseptic properties, were laid across it. Its name, Tutsan comes from the Anglo-Norman name meaning Tutsaine ‘all-wholesome or all – healthy.’
Another plant I didn’t know, though I thought it was probably related to the Vetch, was called Sainfoin.
This plant isn’t native to our country and was originally came from central Europe. It was brought to the country as fodder for cattle and to improve on milk yields. The leaves were said to be use in a poultice for drawing out boils. As you can see by my photo it is a beautiful plant.
As Ana and I made a way along the footpath this morning we kept seeing hares chasing each other around while overhead skylarks sung the glory of another wonderful morning with growing temperatures.
The plant gets its name from the mark on the lip of the flower. The idea that the plant mimics a bee to attract a bee to pollinate the flower is untruth as the plant does that itself before a bee appears.
The other very odd plant we came across today was a Common Broomrape. At first I thought it was a Bird’s nest Orchid, but on doing my
research I found out it wasn’t. Bird’s -nest orchids are only found in dark woodlands as they need a certain kind of fungus to grown on.
This plant, if that is what you can call it, is in fact a parasitic which feeds on its host plant. Great broomrape feed on the broom which is where its name comes from.
The plant Ana and I found this morning growing in a meadow among, clover, buttercups and vetches was the Common Broomrape which feeds on a more common plant, clover. Unfortunately, this can be devastating for farmers, as I have said these plants are parasitic and feed on clover by robbing them of their sustenance.
So all in all Ana and I had a very interesting morning and I’ve found out a lot more about plants too.
Ana and I won’t be meeting up again until Thursday morning as she has to look after her granddaughter.
So I shall say bye for now as I need to get some writing done.
I hope you have enjoyed my posting too.
Paula R C.