Friday, May 5, 2017

Alexanders the not so great

I spent last weekend in the glorious count of Suffolk. We were based a fair way inland but seemed to gravitate coastwards most days.

I took my actinic moth trap which proved pretty much a waste of time apart form a record of what surprisingly appears to be a lifer, Lunar Marbled Brown Drymonia ruficornis

I even had a go at identifying some plants (shock horror) as I've been really slack at recording these and consequently have no real idea of how many I've even seen in the UK.

By far the easiest was Alexanders Smyrnium olusatrum an invasive member of the umbellifer family. It was on every road side verge as we walked near Orford and was attracting a fair number of flies and hovers. This plant apparently originates from the Canary Isles and is slowly spreading west and north as the climate gets warmer.

Its original name meant ‘Parsley of Alexandria’ which was changed to Alexanders at a later date. It was introduced to Britain by the Romans, as its stems, leaves and flowers are 'apparently' all edible (raw or cooked) and have a flavour not unlike celery.

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