Friday, October 15, 2021

BEWARE of the CROCUS - something rotting in the soil

 An important addition - and correction - to my last piece on the crocus....I have just found a short note I wrote many, many years ago on the very subject:  read carefully...

 '....August ends abruptly....the early rays of the sun later reveal the sudden presence of the autumn
crocus..This leafless flower seems not quite of our world, its translucent, anaemic hollow stems barely support the long, pale lilac petals,a fully opened head often breaks the stem...It is as though all its nutrients come from something rotting in the soil, as though the sun is irrelevant to its being.   It likes deep clay soils and 'nutritious substances' particularly nitrogen bearing... 

this quote comes from a French book on wild flowers - sorry I have forgotten the name)

....Then  I continue to quote: is not a crocus at all, 

but...(fam liliaceae rather than fam iridaceae) but a 'colquique - deadly poisonous in unmanaged quantities, apparently good for gout if distilled into drops - its vulgar name in French is 'dog-killer' - mort aux chiens...

How could I have forgotten!! 

old age coming on fast.


(in the last war, in occupied Netherlands my mother used to boil - carefully - tulip bulbs for sugar)

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