Tuesday, February 18, 2014
The beauty of the Commonplace
Last week I noticed this Goat'sbeard Tragopogon pratensis flowering amongst the litter beside a pavement in Shieldfield, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and brought one of the buds home, to watch it open in a vase. The alternative name for this plant is Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon because it's supposed to open in the morning and close around mid-day, but this one seemed to be a nonconformist that might more accurately be called Jack-go-to-bed-at 3pm.
Although it does produce the finest of all the 'dandelion clock' type seed heads the flower isn't one that I've ever really looked at closely - and when you do scrutinise it the bloom is rather beautiful. The petals on this plant seem to be more deeply incised that in all the wild flower guide illustrations that I've consulted, giving it a rather shaggy appearance.