Tuesday Treats

It’s time for Tuesday Treats again, for touching base with one of my gardening groups, and giving them a few treats for the week.  Or, toilsome tasks, depending on your point of view.  :~))

Most of that will go out by email, but I’m going to use this blog post as a nature table exercise, for the identification of, and discussion of, exhibits.

The images today were taken by one of our gardeners (who should, at least, know the answers!) at Dunham Massey, a National Trust property near Altrincham, Greater Manchester.  Like all National Trust properties, Dunham Massey is currently closed.

One of them is easy, one is moderately difficult, and the other is fiendishly hard.  I hope everyone will have a go.  After discussion, I’ll return to this post, and identify the images for anyone still scratching their head.

Here we go:

Edited to add : First, we have Iris ‘Katharine Hodgkin’ AGM (Reticulata Group)

This is said to be a hybrid of Iris winogradowii and Iris histrioides, but is often sold as an Iris reticulata.

202003 H Dunham Masey (26) A


Edited to add: Second is Erythronium tuolumnense, one of the Californian dog’s tooth violets.  Given another day or so, these would have turned their petals back into the familiar recurved Turk’s cap shape.  More commonly seen in the UK is Erythronium ‘Pagoda’, which is similar but different, if you know what I mean!

202003 H Dunham Masey (6) A


Edited to add:  Third is the really difficult one.  This is Lathraea clandestina, or Purple Toothwort, and it’s unlike most other plants.  It’s a parasite, and it grows on the roots of various trees, especially willow and poplar.  It’s found in the damp, shady places where its hosts grow.  It has no chlorophyll and relies on food taken from its host.  Its leaves are simple scale-like structures carried on the underground stems.  Lathraea is from the Greek for ‘hidden’, and clandestina means ‘secret’.  The seed capsules are explosive.  It’s a native of W. Europe, but not of Britain, being first planted at Kew Gardens in 1888.  It is now widespread but rare.

So, how did you do on these three?

202003 H Dunham Masey (9) A

Stay safe, everyone.

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