A large colony of Honey Garlic (Nectaroscordum siculum
), in a shady spot beside the M4 westbound, near Chippenham, Wilts.
Identifying plants at 70 mph tends to be a bit approximate. Every so often, over the past fifteen years of commuting, I'd get a flash of a strange group of what looked like a cross between bulrush and a giant cocksfoot. I never pinned down exactly where this was, and sometimes I even wondered if I'd dreamt the whole thing up. (Evidently, the plants are not noticeable for most of the year.)
When I spied the colony again last week, my curiosity finally got the better of me, and I determined to find a way to get closer. That turned out to be easy. Exit at Jct 17 (2 miles up the road), take the road to Sutton Benger, then from there the road to Seagry. Handy lay-by just before you cross the motorway. The plants are just beneath you.
On June 21st 2015, the flower-heads looked extraordinary, as weird as a Cappadocian landscape.
(When I was on the spot I assumed that the upright pinnacles were "buds", i.e. yet to flower, but I've since been told that these were post-flowering. In Nectaroscordum
the flowers are upright in bud, drooping when open, then upright again in fruit.)
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