Lime green whatchamacallit?!

In the last week or so, have you seen these lime green plants springing up at the side of the road? Every year I see them and think WOW, now what are they called again? This year was no different. I checked in my wildflower guide and was reminded they are alexanders. I am determined to remember them for next year and maybe by writing about them I can consign them to my horticultural memory bank.

The leaves are a fresh green, and the flower bracts above them are a piquant lime green that demands to be admired. The flowers will bloom yellow later in the year. It’s also known as horse parsley and all parts of the plant are edible. I daresay when people used to live off the land it was much more well known.

It’s a bit frost sensitive, so is more often seen in the South and in coastal areas. I live in Essex, not far from the Blackwater Estuary. I found this display next to Abberton Reservoir. Only five minutes away by car we regularly visit the causeway to see the swans, ducks, egrets, herons and crested grebes. At sunset all the birds come down to the trees or the water and are bathed in a magical light. The egrets settle into their nests with a peculiar “walla walla walla” sound which always makes us smile. It’s a very special place.

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