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Monday, 4 April 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016 - Wild Flowers 'C'

My theme this year is wild flowers. Most of us will be aware of the flowers that grow in our gardens but what surprises me is how few wild flowers that I know.

I pass them every day but rarely look at them. Well this year will be different - even if many of them may fall under the letter 'X' for unknown.

'C' - Cowslips, Cow Parsley, Cranesbill

Yesterday I included buttercups under letter 'B' and mentioned the Irish tradition of rubbing them on cows' udders.

That's an oblique link to these flowers.


Cowslips
The cowslip's name is a polite form of cowslop or cowpat, the animal's droppings in scattered clumps on pastureland. Once an established flower on grassland it has become more rare as meadows have been ploughed up.

Those in my photo were seen last year on a grassy bank in North Yorkshire.

Roadside verges often contain other 'cow' related flowers.

Buttercups and cow parsley
Cow parsley
I may regret including this under 'C' as it is also known as Queen Anne's Lace.

It was common practice when I was young to make peashooters of its thick stems. I was never clever enough to use them to make whistles.

Unfortunately it may be mistaken for similar looking, but poisonous, relatives such as hemlock and fool's parsley and has as a consequence sometimes been called Devil's meat.

Now you might wonder what my next shot has to do with wild flowers. You have to think laterally again.


Sandhill cranes in Michigan
Here's a hint.


And here's the flower.



Cranesbill
This plant in a local hedgerow is, in effect, a form of wild geranium.

I need to identify it further from the shape of its petals and its leaves (which you can't see here.)

Varieties include, bloody, cut-leaved,  hedgerow, meadow, round-leaved, shining and wood cranesbill. I shall have to look more closely at it this year.

11 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bob - great mix of wild flowers with the letter C .. the Cranesbill is an extra ... but it's wonderful when the buttercups come out, as too the Cow Parsley ... and then the Cowslips - love them ..

C for Cheers - Hilary

Bill Nicholls said...

See a lot of cowslips along some of the roadside banks outside our village.

Alex Daw said...

I am impressed with your knowledge of wild-flowers - what a wonderful knowledge to have!

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

You can stress over the names all you want...I just like to sigh, and thank Mother for her beautiful gifts. :)

Bish Denham said...

I've heard of cowslips, but never seen them. I had no idea they were so pretty. We have a relative (probably) of Queen Anne's lace here. It's called wild carrot.

Kristin said...

The cowslips reminded me of some purple flowers we have growing in our wild yard. I don't know what they are but I know that they appeared after my husband got a load of elephant manure from the zoo. They are beautiful additions and are spreading.

Finding Eliza

THE KATY said...

I love this theme. Flowers are amazing and gorgeous!

Jo said...

Why did the cowslip? Because it saw the bullrush. Sorry, couldn't resist it. Pity these flowers are disappearing they are so pretty.

A Joyful Chaos said...

I love wildflowers! I don't remember ever seeing the ones you featured today.

Random Musings said...

Really interesting, I had no idea what any of these were called! I love how you are going to tackle X, great plan
Debbie

Lisa said...

We have Queen Anne's Lace, too. Apparently the root is very similar to a carrot in both smell & taste. Good to know if you're ever lost in the woods!
Love that you posted birds from Michigan - that's where I'm from!
Lisa at Tales from the Love Shaque