Author: pamadden

Stars of the Hedgerow

Stars of the Hedgerow Greater stitchwort (1) Credit E.Ó Murchú The Greater Stitchwort (Stellaria holostea) or Tursarraing mhór in Irish is now scrambling along the hedgerows and brightening up their shady bases (1).  It can also be seen in woods, gardens and waste places.  April, May and June are its flowering months. It bears five…

Buttons of Gold

April Buttons of Gold Bank of dandelions (1) The Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) or Caisearbhán in Irish is very noticeable now on road verges, waste places, embankments, lawns and banks of canal, stream and river.  It flowers from March to October (1).Many people consider it a troublesome weed because it spreads quickly, and its deep tap…

Ovals of Gold

Ovals of Gold Male catkins (Credit E. Ó Murchú) (1) The Goat willow (Salix caprea) or Saileach dubh in Irish is inconspicuous for most of the year.  However, in March it displays its male catkins which are covered in golden pollen.  These make it stand out in the hedgerows before it fades back into obscurity…

A Confusing Quintet

Shamrock Yellow clover (1a) Scrambling yellow clover on wall (1b) St. Patrick arrived to spread Christianity throughout the island in 432 A.D. and it is said that he used the shamrock as a metaphor for the holy Trinity. But which one?  There are five contenders for the title.The word “Shamrock” itself is derived from two…

Harbinger of Spring

Primroses Primroses (1) Primrose (Primula vulgaris) or Sabhaircín in Irish is a true harbinger of spring. Its English name derives from the Latin words prima rosa which means “first flower”.  It has pale yellow petals and wrinkled dark green leaves (1). There are lines of darker yellow towards the centre of the flower.  These are…