Thursday, July 4, 2013

Bladder Campion - Silène Enflé - Silene Vulgaris

Le silène enflé (silene vulgaris), ci-dessous, est comestible (les feuilles). On peut les mettre dans une salade ou les sauter. Moi, je les manges crus cueuillis directement du sol, parce que je m'amuse à goûter aux plantes comestibles quand je me promène dans les bois. Un très bon goût jeune, devient amer quand mature.
S. vulgaris inflorescence
The bladder campion, silene vulgaris, is edible. The young shoots are tender and sweetish, but it gets bitter as the plant matures. A rather tasty plant early in the season, though I don't sample it more than two or three times in the season. It's quite a peculiar-looking flower, with its large bulbous shape topped by those delicate, almost frilly petals. But when you get close you can see that it has some beautiful, subtle colour gradation in the filaments and anthers, giving this light hint of purple colour. The central flower in this photograph has been damaged (missing stamens), but because of that you can clearly see the purple tips on the bulbous part of the flower. The bulb itself surrounds the part that, once fertilized, develops into a seed. I like it's stained-glass appearance. The bladder campion is usually considered a weed in North America (it's native to Europe), but I quite like it regardless.

This evening I'm going to unwind a bit in the garden. I have to thin my radishes a bit and the tomatoes need to be pruned and trained; they're developing suckers that need to be removed. My eggplants are suffering; the weather has been unseasonably cold and it just hasn't been good for them. Ditto the peppers. I'm hoping for some better weather. I bought some endive seeds to replace my lettuces once it got too hot to grow them, but so far that hasn't happened at all. I suppose one can't dictate the weather. At least the brussels sprouts are happy.

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