The colour of summer

Corncockle © Richard Burkmar

As summer blooms the colour begins to shine through...

...with the tall white of ox-eye daisies punctuated by an understory of yellow vetch amongst a green hue. But for me, it’s the striking magenta pink flower heads of corncockle that catch the eye.

Oxeye daisies © Andrew Parkinson/2020VISION

Oxeye daisies © Andrew Parkinson/2020VISION

Once a common plant of the arable landscape, so much so that it was declared a pest weed species, its seeds finding their way into the grain harvest and tainting the taste of bread. The slender tall stems with hairy strap like leaves climb upwards, topped off with a simple but beautiful architectural flower head. Beads of dew cloak the plant in a jewel-like sparkle as the morning sun breaks through and the plants awake to another day. No strong perfume or scent is present, but that colour draws you in. As the early flowers fade, a bulbous seed head will form and the next generation will get a chance to grow; the annual cycle of an ancient plant, dependent on suitable soil and wind and weather.

Corncockle © Jon Traill

Corncockle © Jon Traill

Once a common plant of the arable landscape, so much so that it was declared a pest weed species, its seeds finding their way into the grain harvest and tainting the taste of bread. The slender tall stems with hairy strap like leaves climb upwards, topped off with a simple but beautiful architectural flower head. Beads of dew cloak the plant in a jewel-like sparkle as the morning sun breaks through and the plants awake to another day. No strong perfume or scent is present, but that colour draws you in. As the early flowers fade, a bulbous seed head will form and the next generation will get a chance to grow; the annual cycle of an ancient plant, dependent on suitable soil and wind and weather.