I’ve been preparing for the next Urban Herbology walk today so here are several photos and not much chat…
Developing cobweb-spirally Burdock flowers.
The Middenweg Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum) continues to grow despite being reported to the council. Apparently it’s not a risk to the public because it is growing in the green strip… It is now wider than my bike, well over 2m tall and (although less than before I pruned it) still overhangs the pavement. I shall snip off the flower heads before the seeds set. A deadly beauty.
Greater Celendine, with seed pods developing well.
Comfrey (Symphytum uplandicum), still growing, still flowering – everywhere in the park!
Skullcap (Sculletaria altissima) in the woods. Flowers development very quickly moving up the stalk, sowing be visible for much longer.
The flowers of wild Sage (Salvia officinalis).
On the edge of the rhododendron planted section, I found this shady patch of tasty Pelargonium, Garlic Mustard and also Stinging Nettle and Cleavers, just out of shot.
Lastly, frothy flowers of Hedge Bedstraw.
The Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum) alongside the Middenweg and Frankendael, has had something of a growth spurt over the warm weekend. It is just opening it’s flowers and is spilling onto the pavement. It should not be touched. It smells a little mousy and unpleasant so I really hope that deters people from picking the flowers or worse.
I tore a large branch from it yesterday but it needs to be carefully removed and disposed of. Composting won’t make it safe and burning it needs to be done in a controlled environment as the fumes can cause very serious effects.
It’s been reported so I’m very hopeful that it will be removed very soon. It’s a very handsome, imposing plant, but very harmful and is growing too well, in rather an unfortunate spot.
In just a 1 meter square patch of land, on the outer edge of park Frankendael, I found all these useful herbs today…
Medicinal Comfrey (Symphytum uplandica):
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) and Ground Elder (Aegopodium podograria) growing amongst each other:
Also, Burdock (Arctium lappa)
Poisonous member of the Carrot family, Hemlock (Conium maculatum):
Notice how similar it looks to Chervil. It has a smooth stem and leaves. It smells a little unpleasant and has notable purple staining on the stem. This is not a plant to be handled or foraged at all! This plant was used in ancient Geek executions, including that of Socrates. The Latin name means to whirl, pertaining to one of the symptoms of hemlock poisoning, vertigo. This plant is deadly poisonous and I show it here as so many foragers are keen to find plants such as wild carrot. It is very easy to confuse members of the family, especially those with finely divided leaves such a hemlock, carrot and sweet cicely
Lastly another beauty which is not helpful to foragers. A Labrador delivering a little fertilizer to that interesting 1m square patch of park edge!