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As I was out walking, part 2

July 4, 2020

On my walk home from Launcherley yesterday I made a note of the wildflowers I saw: Sweet Woodruff, Meadowsweet, Agrimony, Camomile, Pineapple weed, Yarrow (both white and pink varieties), Creeping Cinquefoil, Yellow Trefoil, Spear Thistle, Hawkweed, Common Mallow, Field Convolvulus (both the white and the pink-and-white varieties), White Deadnettle, Sowthistle, Herb Bennet, Herb Robert, Willowherb, Ragwort, various docks and sorrels, Water Hemlock, Spurge, Redleg, Fat Hen, Wild White Clover, Field Scabious, Burdock, Teasel, Marjoram, Hedge-mustard, and a Mullein when I was almost home.
Below: Camomile, Field Scabious, Sweet Woodruff, probably Dwarf Spurge.

03 Redleg sml
Persicaria maculosa
: Heartweed, Smartweed, Spotted Knotweed, Redleg, Redshank, Willow weed. The dreaded Japanese Knotweed, which I spotted in Park Wood, is a fellow members of the buckwheat family, Polygonaceae, which includes docks and sorrels.

03 MulleinVerbascum thapsus: Common mullein. These fine specimens, unusually, show no sign of the black, white and yellow caterpillars of the Mullein Moth which can strip them bare. I’m happy for the plants but a bit concerned for the moth.

My family moved from London to an isolated cottage in a rural part of Surrey when I was ten. It was the beginning of the summer holidays and, not knowing anyone locally, I spent my days happily wandering alone looking for wild flowers. My aunt in the Isle of Skye, a keen amateur botanist, sent me Collins Pocket Guide to Wild Flowers, newly-published, far too big and heavy for any normal pocket, but just what I needed. I learnt a lot of names that summer.

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