|Hall's Pond - 16 June 2015
One of the very earliest fruits in Milton Country Park is willow seed which covers the surfaces of the pits with white down. As the photograph above shows, Hall's Pond was completely covered in early June.
|Centre of Park - 28 July 2015
In early spring, cuckoo pint plants are conspicuous on the bare earth beneath the trees in the park. Although most of these plants go on to flower, the spikes of bright red berries are very hard to find, partly because of the heavy growth of nettles and brambles that has grown up during the summer. Furthermore, on most of the spikes I did find half of the berries had been eaten.
The naming of this plant interests me as there seems no obvious connection either between cuckoos and lords and ladies or between either name and the plant. The connection is that both terms refer to the spadix. Cuckoo pint is derived from the resemblance of the spadix to a penis: pint is short for pintle which means penis, and cuckoo means lively. Lords and ladies is a name first used by children based on the fact that the spadix can be either purple or white. Be careful of this plant: Cambridgeshire folk lore had it, that to bring the plant indoors would bring TB into the house.
The almost complete specimen shown above was found on the edge of the woods between Hall's Pond and Todd's Pit.
|Fen Road Exit - 6 August 2015
By August, many of the plants in the park are seeding profusely. In the meadow by the path to the Fen Road exit the thistle down is at least as conspicuous as the thistle flowers it replaced. This is a different part of the same meadow that I featured in my post Meadow Flowers .
|Access Road - 10 August 2015
These are the seed heads of the poppies which I found growing beside the access road which runs behind the toilets and which I featured in an earlier post Summer Flowers.
|Play Area - 23 August 2015
Another plant producing a profusion of seeds at this time of year is the ragwort. These plants were photographed on the bank overlooking the play area.
|Remembrance Meadow - 23 August 2015
Finally, I am finishing with a classic view of an umbellifer in seed - in this case hemlock.
Books and Blogs
My information on the origins of plant names is taken mainly from 'On the Popular Names of British Plants' by R C A Prior, which is freely available on the internet in pdf format.
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