5 Star Finds19th July 2010 • Stephanie's Blog • Stephanie Donaldson
There were so many plants to get excited about – some very familiar, others less so. I think the prize for the most bizarre plant must go to a cow-wheat (Melampyrum nemorosum) that looks like it has been coloured-in by an inventive child.
Damp meadows were thick with Cirsium rivulare, the rich pink thistle which I now realise is well out of its comfort zone in my free-draining sandy soil. Frustratingly, where we walked most had gone to seed so I was unable to photograph just how beautiful they looked although on the way back to the airport I saw great drifts of them in full flower.
Dianthus giganteiformis illuminated meadows and verges with pin-pricks of shocking pink and corn fields were seas of blue with cornflowers as commonplace as poppies are here.
Birthwort was another plant we found in damp meadows – a curiosity rather than a thing of beauty.
Of the vetches I thought the Crown Vetch was particularly pretty – and a lot easier to identify than many of the others.
Also common in damp meadows was the White False Helleborine – an attractive but deadly plant that must be the Transylvanian equivalent of Ragwort when it appears in hay meadows.
Verbascums were much in evidence, happy to grow anywhere from arid slops to the water’s edge.