Friday, September 23, 2016

Odd things that pop up.

I purchased recently some Sempervivum Hybrids from Lidl.
They had been imported from Holland and amongst them I noticed what appeared at first to be a young plant thrusting its way out.

We  had always had these growing along the wall in the garden of the old house in Ken Road.
House Leeks as we knew them were ever known as protectors of dwelling places against lightning by country folk.

                                  This was the one that we had.

Over the years it was growing and flowering, I must admit we never got struck in any of the thunderstorms; in spite of the 25 foot water pipe that held the wireless Ariel that was anchored to an outer wall. Neither did any other house in Lower Clevedon to the best of my knowledge.

                                                     The intruder.

The intruding plant was in fact nothing to do with Sempervivums it was one of the Chickweed family. 

                                 Here is a 3 times life-size image

I put a 10 dioptre glass on the front of my 90mm Tamron macro lens and got a variety of shots using my ring flash.
I have always wanted to get pictures of this species and am eagerly waiting for the flowers to open.

                   I took several pix to show the buds and leaf shape

Now all I must do is to patiently wait for the flowers to open, then hopefully, for the seed pods to develop to get some shots of them too.
Of Chickweeds Culpeper, the ancient herbalist, has this to say.
Gover-nment and virtue] :—  It is a fine soft pleasing herb under the dominion of the Moon. It is found to be effectual as Purslain to all the purposes where-unto it serves, except for meat only. The herb bruised, or the juice applied (with cloths or sponges dipped therein) to the region of the liver, and as they dry, to have it fresh applied, doth wonderfully temperate the heat of the liver, and is effectual for all imposthumes and swellings whatsoever, for all redness in the face, wheals, pushes, itch, scabs; the juice either simply used, or boilei with hog's grease and applied, helps cramps, convulsions, and palsy. The juice, or distilled water, is of much good use for all heats and redness in the eyes, to drop some thereof into them; as also into the ears, to ease pains in them; and is of good effect to ease pain from the heat and sharpness of the blood in the piles, and generally all pains in the body that arise of heat. It is used also in hot and virulent ulcers and sores in the privy parts of men and women, or on the legs, or elsewhere. The leaves boiled with marsh-mallows, and made into a poultice with fenugreek and linseed, applied to swellings or imposthumes, ripen and break them, assuage the swellings and ease the pains. It helps the sinews when they are shrunk by cramps, or otherwise, and to extend and make them pliable again by this medicine. Boil a handful of Chickweed and a handful of red rose leaves dried, in a quart of muscadine until a fourth part be consumed; then put to them a pint of oil of trotters or sheep's feet; let them boil a good while, still stirring them well; which being strained, anoint the grieved place there-with, warm against the fire, rubbing it well with one hand: a bind also some of the herb (if you will) to the place, and, with God’s blessing, it will help it in three times dressing.

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