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.



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.



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.



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!


All my best,


Written by jane tims

July 12, 2021 at 7:00 am

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