A Half-dozen of Green.

Here’s a half dozen of green, from the environs of Wishetwurra Farm.

We’ll start with edible greens. Spinach.  We took a first cutting, for salad, a few weeks ago, and will take more soon. Maybe tonight?

IMG_7616

The spinach in this photo was planted last year in the greenhouse, two days after Christmas.

Our next edible green is claytonia, or miner’s lettuce. One of the interesting things about claytonia is that the flowers appear in the center of leaves.

IMG_7617

A friendly botanist told me that what surrounds the claytonia flowers is not one leaf, but two, fused into one structure.

What is as robust as a pre-bloom rosette of dandelion?

IMG_7628

Latin name, “Tarqxacum”. But, as with many cosmopolitan plants, the dandelion has hundreds of names. If you don’t mind digressing, and would like to learn of some of the host of amazing handles put on this plant, go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dandelion

Rhubarb bud redly glows.

IMG_7612

From our friends at Wiki: “Rhubarb is usually considered to be a vegetable; however, in the United States, a New York court decided in 1947 that since it was used in the United States as a fruit, it was to be counted as a fruit for the purposes of regulations and duties. A side effect was a reduction on imported rhubarb tariffs, as tariffs were higher for vegetables than fruits.”

Columbine will soon send up budded stalks. People occasionally nibble on a columbine flower, but you should never eat the leaves, stalks, or roots, as these parts contain poisons that affect the heart and the digestive system.

IMG_7620

Oxford Dictionary sez: “The common name “columbine” comes from the Latin for “dove”, due to the resemblance of the inverted flower to five doves clustered together.”

One April morning when I was about ten years old, while walking upstream along my favorite brook, I encountered a trout lily clump that someone had bought and planted at the edge of a pathside boulder. The beautiful yellow blossoms enchanted me, perhaps because the leaf markings are reminiscent of the mottling on the back of a brook trout. Every year afterwards I made sure to visit that rock, and that clump of trout lilies, to enjoy the flowers.

IMG_7611

Trout lily’s other common name is dogtooth violet. That name comes from their little underground bulbs, which look a little bit like teeth. I don’t know who first decided that they were dog’s teeth.

Near my father’s old house is an area that is lightly wooded, and which faces southwest. There must be something particularly favorable about the location, for there is a patch of trout lily that covers an acre or more. A few years ago (OK, it’s probably ten years now.) I transplanted some clumps to some areas at my house.

They’re thriving.

Advertisements

One response to “A Half-dozen of Green.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s