I have been working on project over the last year called ‘Plant of the Day’ teaching myself the names and histories (and stories and legends) of the commonest weeds and wildflowers that I come across day to day. So I was naturally drawn to this passage in Thomas Allen’s ‘History and Antiquities of Lambeth from 1827 and decided to use it as inspiration for another Inktober drawing:
There were two that I couldn’t find a decent image of – Rough Spleenwort (some kind of fern) and River Fringe Moss (I know what it looks like but not up to drawing it in pen and ink).
Allen suggests that these are ‘rare’ plants – Alkanet is certainly not rare and is absolutely the bane of my life in weeding my mother’s garden. It has beautiful blue flowers and the bees love it but once the flowers are over – out it must come!
Although many of the other plants aren’t rare in England (Solomon’s Seal, Lily of the Valley, Butcher’s Broom, Foxglove) you don’t see them very often in London – well not the bits I walk around. I shall now keep my eyes peeled for maple leafed goosefoot, pignut, and orpine but I have enough trouble distingushing the more common kinds of Hawkweed to have any chance of knowing if I have found the wall or shrubby broad-leaved kind!