green tomatoes


Friday 1st September 2000, 2/2, West Yorkshire
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goosefoot, Chenopodium IT MAY BE GOOD WEATHER for frogs, raining as it does for much of the day, but as I don't see much else in the way of natural history I decide to sketch this weed which grows by the pots of Green Peppers in a sand tray on the staging in the greenhouse.

Those greenish clusters of tiny bobbles are the flowers. Even with the weed here in a jam jar and with several good wild flower guides to help, I can't be sure about its identity. The nearest I can get is Nettle-leaved Goosefoot, Chenopodium murale, a weed of light, well-drained soils, such as sand-dunes and rubbish tips. But it also looks very like Common Orache, Atriplexus patula.

This is where I'd be asking an expert, if I happened to have a botanical friend to hand. But by drawing it and attempting to identify it I've at least got my eye in to start looking at related species.

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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