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Posts tagged “Irish woodland plants

Irish Woodland flowers : Greater Stitchwort (Stellaria holostea)

 Greater Stitchwort Stellaria holostea Nigel Borrington


Greater Stitchwort
Stellaria holostea
Nigel Borrington

Each day this month as I go for a walk with our dog Molly, into some of our local woodland I have noticed all the wildflowers of May time and they have been a wonderful sight .

Greater Stichwort with its pure white flower heads and tall stems are just some of these.

About

Greater Stitchwort grows in woods, roadside verges, hedgerows and grassy banks. It has many other common names including ‘Wedding Cakes’, ‘Star-of-Bethlehem’, ‘Daddy’s-shirt-buttons’ and ‘Snapdragon’ – the latter because its stems are brittle and easily break. It’s pretty star-shaped, white flowers bloom from April to June; as the seed capsules ripen, they can be heard ‘popping’ in late spring.

How to identify

Greater Stitchwort has five white petals, each deeply notched and almost divided into two. Its green leaves are grass-like in appearance and its brittle stems are square. Greater Stitchwort has larger flowers (2-3cm across) than its relative, Lesser Stitchwort (0.5-1cm across).

http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/species/greater-stitchwort

Forest flowers 1

Forest flowers 2


The Holly-Tree , A Poem by : Robert Southey

Woodland Holly, County Kilkenny, Nigel Borrington

Woodland Holly,
County Kilkenny,
Nigel Borrington

The Holly-Tree

By : Robert Southey

O reader! hast thou ever stood to see
The Holly-tree?
The eye that contemplates it well perceives
Its glossy leaves
Ordered by an Intelligence so wise
As might confound the Atheist’s sophistries.

Below, a circling fence, its leaves are seen,
Wrinkled and keen;

No grazing cattle, through their prickly round,
Can reach to wound;
But, as they grow where nothing is to fear,
Smooth and unarmed the pointless leaves appear.

Winter Holy tree 1.

I love to view these things with curious eyes,
And moralize;
And in this wisdom of the Holly-tree
Can emblem see
Wherewith, perchance, to make a pleasant rhyme, –
One which may profit in the after-time.

Thus, though abroad, perchance, I might appear
Harsh and austere;
To those who on my leisure would intrude,
Reserved and rude;
Gentle at home amid my friends I’d be,
Like the high leaves upon the Holly-tree.

And should my youth – as youth is apt, I know, –
Some harshness show,
All vain asperities I, day by day,
Would wear away,
Till the smooth temper of my age should be
Like the high leaves upon the Holly-tree.

Winter Holly tree 3.

And as, when all the summer trees are seen
So bright and green,
The Holly-leaves their fadeless hues display
Less bright than they;
But when the bare and wintry woods we see,
What then so cheerful as the Holly-tree? –

So, serious should my youth appear among
The thoughtless throng;
So would I seem, amid the young and gay,
More grave than they;
That in my age as cheerful I might be
As the green winter of the Holly-tree.
Robert Southey