Friday, 7 October 2011

Old Man's Beard
Gerard the herbalist who published his Herbal in 1597 called this plant 'Traveller's Joy' because it decorated the 'waies and hedges where people travel'.  Also known as 'Gypsies' bacca' because gypsies smoked the hollow stems.  A form of clematis, the whole plant is poisonous.

I must have seen miles of this driving through the lanes of the south of England.  As autumn moves into winter it gets greyer and stragglier and old and beardy looking, but seen here as the sun came up on the last day of September the seed heads are brighter pink than any I have ever seen.