Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Dogwood






















This is noticeable at the moment: Dogwood, Cornus sanguinea. It is one of the first to but on a good display of autumnal colour and currently the A27 is lined by burgundy-leaved specimens some of which are flowering a second time. It has an unusual characteristic in that you can carefully pull the leaf into two parts and it will remain connected by the phloem which consists of spiral cell assemblages (see bottom right photo).
There is a fascinating etymology for Dogwood: one theory is that the name derives from the Old English dagwood. Dags (arrows, daggers, sharp pointy things) were made from its hard slender stems. The The Canterbury Tales it is referred to as 'whipple-tree' after its use in carts for a section that connects the cart to the horse.
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