Wednesday, April 01, 2009

April's Weeds Wildflowers in Santa Marinella: More Fun with Taxonomy

As you can see, it's not the sunniest of days today, but the flowers are blooming merrily nonetheless.

Bindweed, obviously, but I've never seen it with fuzzy leaves and stems before.

The local variety of wild Alcea. Don't know the species yet, but it looks exactly the same as the one in Cheshire. The common English name for Alcea, Hollyhock, gives a clew as to their origin. "Holly" is from "holy" because they were brought home to Western Europe by Crusaders returning from Jerusalem, and 'hoc' because they looked familiar to the mallow which went by that name in the Anglo-Saxon tongue.

No idea what the heck this thing is. Never seen anything like it before.

Wild mustard, obviously. The fields and scrub land between S. Mar. and Rome is a sea of yellow right now.

Some variety of pea clearly, but that really doesn't narrow it down much. It is sort of magnified. Its leaves, stems and flowers are all about five times the size one expects from the pea family.

Very handsome.

Again, no idea. But very pretty.


Zach said...

I think your "pea" may actually be a vetch, although it doesn't quite match any of the vetch species I've found locally.

HJW said...

Yes. I was thinking some variety of vetch too, but vetch for giants. Of course, vetch is another member of the same family as peas, so we are not much further ahead.

What I'd really like to know is what is the big bushy thing with the little yellow bell-shaped flowers hanging down in clusters.