Wow, What a Whopper!
This monster cauli was expertly grown by Eileen P. We’re told it provided cauli cheese for at least a week for several people. Great work Eileen!
Here is Chris T-C enviously holding the huge bounty.
Jacky took this photo at Wakehurst Place in May. Pat Winter has identified it as Lathraea Clandestina, or Purple Toothwort. Pat has seen it at Wakehurst too but she says her photo isn’t as good!
Pat says: The purple is stunning. It’s a plant in the Order Lamiales: notice how the flowers resemble Lamium flowers. It doesn’t waste its energies producing leaves (with chlorophyll) or stems, just the spectacularly-coloured flowers in spring. This is because Toothwort is
parasitic on the roots of a host tree (notably Poplars and Willows), especially in damp woodlands, and underground is a large clump of stems that attach themselves to host roots and draw nutrients from them,
especially in spring when tree sap is rising. So the only necessary parts are the seed-bearing flowers. The seedlings can take up to 10 years before producing flowers, so its rarity is not surprising.
Thank you for sharing your amazing plant knowledge with us Pat.
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Here’s Audrey with her most amazing cheese and potato slice We live in hope for next year. Thank you for tickling our taste buds Audrey!