Sunday, 22 June 2014

Oak Lane, St Brelade - Part 1

Here are some of the wild flowers, herbs and plants to be seen if you walk round Oak Lane, La Moye in St Brelade. Identification by Jeff. Details pinched by me from Wikipedia and other online sources of information..

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a flowering plant species in the celery family Apiaceae or Umbelliferae. It is treated as the sole species in the genus Foeniculum by most botanists. It is a hardy, perennial, herb, with yellow flowers and feathery leaves. It is indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean but has become widely naturalized in many parts of the world, especially on dry soils near the sea-coast and on riverbanks.
It is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb with culinary and medicinal uses and, along with the similar-tasting anise, is one of the primary ingredients of absinthe. Florence fennel or finocchio is a selection with a swollen, bulb-like stem base that is used as a vegetable.
Fennel is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the mouse moth and the anise swallowtail.

Fennel is often claimed to be the perfect flavour enhancer for mackerel - the inside if the fish stuffed with young fennel fronds before cooking, preferably over an open fire. Fennel is at its best during June (before it flowers and sets seed) and mackerel come inshore and can be caught in numbers during the same month. Coincidence?

Lavatera maritima
Lavatera is a genus of about 25 species of flowering plants in the family Malvaceae, native to the Mediterranean region, central and eastern Asia, North America (California and Mexico) and Australia. A number of species are naturalized in North America.
Many Lavatera species have now been transferred to the related genus Malva. Lavatera species are known as tree mallows, or rather ambiguously as rose mallows, royal mallows or annual mallows.
This famous dunny 'leaf' used to be known as 'Irish toilet paper', although it was also used in the Channel Islands and in parts of England. The leaves are soft, but they are also strong and don't tear at the wrong moment! Lavatera is a tall growing, easy care plant. It flowers all year long in shades of pink and mauve. (Note: lavatera self-seeds very easily and should not be planted if you live near bushland.)

What is not so widely known is that a compound can be extracted from the flower petals which was once used to treat sunburn. It is a midsummer flowering plant. Coincidence?

En Jèrriais:

fennel = fanon

Lavatera/mallow = mauve

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