Saturday, April 20, 2013

celandine, lesser and greater; rooks and Harvey's bitter

Here is the lesser celandine, Ranunculus ficaria. I have a feeling that this is is what Robbie and the egregious Carol Klein are talking about (See yesterday's comment)  It is one of my favourite spring flowers though at this time of year it could  also be accused of being egregious. I was about to say , as someone obsessed to know foreign names of flowers,  thank you for the pretty word chélidoine, as indeed I do. So thrilled am I that I  consider further research which leads me to check the lesser against the greater celandine. Here I find that the greater celandine, a quite different plant, with quite different leaves and flowers has the the Latin name Chelidonium magus and belongs to the family Paperveraceae. It sounds therefore that Robbie's source quite understandably  took the lesser for the greater. Perhaps the search for the French name of the lesser celandine should still be on*

In Groombridge today I hear rooks calling a sound which evokes my childhood. One of my younger brother Michael's first words was "car" and I remember his waving his baby hand in the air when hearing rooks building in neighbouring trees under the impression that they were speaking of automobiles. He must have been about 10 months old and I about four.

A pint of Harvey's outside The Crown in Groombridge in the spring sunshine (at last) is worth a bottle of Champagne. Or so it seems.

*As an afterthought I  have just turned to Collins Robert  to find against Lesser Celandine, ficaire. I feel almost embarrassed but once on the track I couldn't stop.


Ellena said...

I'm having a good laugh. Looked up ficaire. 'Faiblement toxique. Peut provoquer apparition d'une ampoule'. I could not think of the english word for ampoule and had google translate. '..can cause appearance of a light bulb'. Blister is the word.

tristan said...

you have to gargle the beer whist humming "somewhere over the rainbow"