Sunday, May 29, 2011

valerian, bag, accepting


Posted by PicasaValerianella grows in profusion round here. It may once have been introduced as a garden variety but it has found itself  at home in the corners of walls and in cracks in concrete where  it thrives. What I didn't know  and only learn to day is that it is related to Valerianella locusta, lamb's lettuce or corn salad, which the French call mâche. It is very different in appearance, lamb's lettuce having small leaves and even smaller flowers, but the reference in my flower book is born out by Petit Larouse.

As I approach Sainsbury's a transparent plastic bag is caught by the wind inflated and floats up in the air. It has is strange and half alive like the bag filmed by the young man in the film American Beauty. It's transparency gives it a sprite-like quality so that from moment to moment you doubt its existence.

"You'll have to tell him he'll have to accept him for who he is..." the words of a passer by disappear in the wind. They are all the more intriguing  for being incomplete.

3 comments:

Barrett Bonden said...

Valerian doesn't sound like a flower. I knew that it had pharmacological application but didn't know that it has two functions. The first you will know about; but did you know it is also a carminative? Another case of a five-dollar word protecting me from charges of vulgarity.

Plutarch said...

I knew that it had medicinal qualities but carminative was not among those I knew of. Mrs M Grieve whose massive A Modern Herbal I constantly refer to does however say that the plant "was in such esteem in mediaeval times that it received the name All Heal, which is still given it in some parts of the country. Gerard says that herbalists thought it "excellent for those burdened and for such as be torubled with croup and other convuslsions, and also for those that are bruised with falls".

Nimble said...

I love overheard bits of conversation. You know they are more dramatic for being incomplete.