Reigning Campions

Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Wednesday 30th June 1999

red campionwhite campionbladder campion LIKE THE THISTLES YESTERDAY, the three local Campions are in flower today, all within a few yards of each other along the towpath.

Red and White Campion look identical to me, with one obvious difference.

Bladder Campion is now going to seed. Most of the small white petals have shrivelled, but the bladders, which are sepals joined together to form a tube, hang there like balloons advertising a party.

codlins-and-cream is not so red as thisheerb robert Codlins-and-Cream is the country name for Great Willowherb. It usually grows in rather damper places than the Rosebay. Codlins are cooking apples, was there an old variety that turned purple when cooked?

Herb Robert is a cranesbill, a member of the Geranium family, which not only has pink flowers, as the name suggests - the leaves, stems and crane's head-shaped seed pods also tend to turn red.

hogweed leaf unfurling, again not so red A Hogweed leaf unfurling also reminds me of a bird's head. The unfurling leaf is nested in the sheath at the base of the previous leaf, packed in like a Russian doll. It looks like a goose pulling its head backwards out of an anorak hood.

Admittedly, not something you're likely to see every day.

Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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