Friday, May 19, 2006

Cow Parsley - see how it grows

Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) is part of the carrot family and it's root can be eaten. So can its leaves and we had a chef living here who used to pick it and take it as Chervil to his restaurant. But the amazing things is how it has grown from a few little leaves in March to dominate the cut now in mid May.

See how it has grown in the series of pictures. A few miserable leaves at the edge of the path, next there are flowers here and there, then it is chest high as my wife walks through it, and yesterday, wild in the wind, it filled the cut with white foam.

The books say that another name is "Queen Anne's Lace" though I've never heard this used. It seems this is an American name. (Curses be upon Americans for inflicting "Rooster" upon us and calling the "Plough" the "Big Dipper".) It seems that Queen Anne's Lace is a slightly differentflower from cow parsley with one red flower at the centre. (I put this in to explain the poem I found - quite by chance about it it.) The poem is by William Carlos Williams. (Praise be upon the Americans for writing most of the best 20th century English poetry - the 21st century will be Indian for sure - there are already more English speakers in India than there are in all of the rest of the world so we'd better start learning to understand them.)

The line that caught me was "until the whole field is a white desire". Today the whole cut is a white desire. Here's the link to the Queen Anne's Lace poem - and here is another poem of his that I have just discovered. I really liked it for its everyday simplicity - I hope you enjoy it too.


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