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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Almonds in Combe?

If you are walking around the lanes in the next few weeks and think you can smell almonds, (some might say vanilla) you are probably going passed a locally common wild flower called Winter Heliotrope. It started flowering over Christmas, slightly earlier than some years due to the mild weather and will continue for a few weeks to come, unless there is a hard frost, which usually kills off the flower, though it is a perennial so will return next year.

It was introduced from North Africa as an ornamental ground cover plant in the early 19th century, which perhaps explains why, despite the fact it is a winter flower, it is not very hardy. It escaped and naturalised but despite being dioecious (having separate make and female organisms on different plants.) only the male plant occurs in GB.

This is what to look out for, especially along the verges in the Clayhanger area.

Happy sniffing!

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