Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

REMINDER: Wonderful Weeds

Posted on by royvickery |

Wonderful Weeds – an amble led by Roy Vickery, looking at plants on the Roupell Park Estate, Brixton, south London (nearest tube station Brixton, then numerous buses, including the 133 and 333), starting at 7.00 p.m.  For further details see the Events page on this website.

Report:  After heavy rain in the afternoon the weather improved by 7 o’clock, but only two people ventured out to join this event.  We started by examining pine-apple weed, Matricaria discoidea, first recorded in the wild in Great Britain in 1871, but now widespread, and used to produce a yellow-orange dye in Shetland.  We then explored the area and discussed common mallow, Malva sylvestris; both greater and ribwort plantains, Plantago major and P. lanceolata, and a wide range of other ‘weeds’.  £7.50 was contributed to  South London Botanical Institute funds.  Thank you.

Upper image, common mallow; lower image four-leaved allseed, Polycarpon tetraphyllum, an unexpected find, this species was first recorded in Britain in the 1770s, and is mainly restricted to the Channel Islands, Cornwall and south Devon.  In 1860 a plant was recorded in a garden in Harrow, ‘occurring by accident’, and in 2012 Mary Smith found thousands of plants growing on a housing estate in Thurrock, Essex; otherwise it appears to be unrecorded in London and the southeast.

Updated 4 July 2019.

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