nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

wildflowers in the ditches

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The season certainly flies by! This week I am noticing the flowers in the ditches. Daisies, bedstraw, vipers bugloss, sweet clover, yarrow and so on. Today I am curious about a white flower occurring in soft low mounds along the highway. Bladderwort campion or maidenstears.

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Bladderwort campion, Silene vulgaris, is a kind of faerie-tale flower, because of its bladders, small enough to be used by the faerie-folk to transport their drink. The alternate name ‘maidenstears,’ is also fanciful. The flowers are white, sticking above the top of a red-veined bladder. Reminds me of newly-bought vegetables poking above a grocery store paper bag.

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The bladder is made of fused sepals. The flower has five petals, each deeply divided into two lobes. Bladderwort campion is common, found in ditches, meadows and other waste places.

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Scanning the ditches for new plants is a habit I developed in my early days as a botanist. Even now I keep a list, in my head, of the plants I see as we drive along any road. A pleasant pass time for summer!

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

July 12, 2021 at 7:00 am

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