Saturday, July 7, 2012

Pretty Blue Flowers

The pretty blue flowers that were blooming all along the walk from Beachy Head to Birling Gap have a distinctly un-pretty name - they are called 'Viper's Bugloss'

En masse:

Up close:

I know you are asking yourself - 'Why are they called that?'  And, through the miracle of modern technology, also known as 'Google', I can tell you.  'Bugloss' is from the Greek and refers to an ox's tongue, possibly in reference to the roughness and shape of the plant's leaves. The 'viper' may refer to the spotted stem which are said to recall markings on the snake.  Which is pretty much like saying that no one really knows. 

And even if it does explain the origin of the name, it still doesn't explain why it doesn't have a nicer common name.  Why do other plants get names like 'Evening Primrose' or 'Canterbury Bells' or 'Lady's Mantle' or 'Love in a Mist' and this equally pretty flower gets 'Viper's Bugloss'.  

It's just not fair.   I tried to come up with something better but my brain is jet lagged and not cooperating, I don't get any farther than 'blue spiky ... flower'.

Blue Angel Spires?
Celestial Pokers?
Ox-tongue Indigo?

Not much better than 'Blue Spiky.... flower.'


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