Thursday, 26 August 2010

Field Eryngo - le Panicaut champêtre

Common on roadsides and uncultivated land is a rather striking ghostly grey green plant, with stiff needle tipped leaves as spiky as any thistle. It's called Field Eryngo in English and le Panicaut champêtre in French. The scientific name is Eryngium campestre. It's not related to thistles at all, but to carrots and parsnips.

The plants emerge during the spring and by late summer are perhaps 40cm high and flowering, contrasting with the surrounding grass both by their pallor and their rigidity. The flowers are held in balls above decorative ruffs of spiny bracts and attract nectar seeking insects such as this Burnet Companion Euclidia glyphica moth (la Doublure jaune in French) above.

Susan

5 comments:

  1. It sure looks like Globe Thistle except for the flowers not being blue.
    Interesting.

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  2. 40 cm high.... not when Fréderic has mowed... then they become a sandal wearer hazard!!

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  3. I would have guessed it was a type of thistle; the leaves are so spiky. The moth picture enlarges nicely - I like the monochromatic golden-brown of the wings.

    Regarding your jam post from yesterday, I had no idea there is that much sugar in jam! I think I will have to search out the low sugar variety in the stores. Thanks for that info.

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  4. CHM: yes, you do rather expect the flowers to be blue, especially as other Eryngiums have blue flowers.

    Tim: they come up in peoples lawns too, and you inevitably sit on them.

    Diogenes: rather than go for jams which trumpet their low level of sugar, go for the ones which advertise their high fruit content. The low sugar ones are likely to have some ghastly substitute for sugar.

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  5. You have beaten me to it! I was only thinking yesterday on my cycle ride that if I had the camera and If I had not apparently muddled up my 'iphoto' it would be nice to write about this plant that I LOVE to see because of its special green-ness! We first saw it in our garden here at Village de Vaux... an inspiring plant!

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