A White Bouquet

Only a few weeks ago gorse provided the dominant colour but now The Heath has been whitewashed by the next succession of flowers.

Along the boundaries, particularly along Northwich Road, Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) is providing a mass of white. It is at home in woodland edges.

Sea of Cow Parsley
Cow Parsley

Another boundary plant, growing up close against the Lime trees, is Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata). It is also known by the name Jack-by-the-hedge – because, as you can guess, it generally grows by hedges. It is a member of the cabbage family and its leaves have a mild, peppery garlic flavour.

Jack-by-the-hedge
Jack-by-the-hedge

Further inside, scattered in the grass, is the more delicate Pignut (Conopodium majus). Its edible root resembles a chestnut. It is a good indicator of uncultivated, long-established grassland – so confirms The Heath’s old age.

Pignut Flower
Pignut

Lastly, scattered through the grassland are patches of the quintessential lawn flower – the Daisy (Bellis perennis). The origin of its scientific name – bellum, Latin for war – seems odd but it may be because Roman legions collected it for the treatment of wounds.

Daisies
Daisies

I am looking forward to seeing what emerges next in the natural world of The Heath.

Kevin Griffiths

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