|The pale mines of Chromatomyia primulae, a little|
to the left of the violet flowers on this cultivar.
Byfield, 7 February, 2013
I pushed on, entering a railway cutting leading to the sad remains of Byfield station. There on the bank Lords and Ladies, Arum maculatum, were growing strongly. This plant always puts in an early appearance, but we'll have to wait for a few weeks for the remarkable flowers. I first mentioned the species way back on 14 November but it deserves further consideration, being such an extraordinary plant.
Come rain. frost, snow or drought
the first green leaves of spring
and every year like a seasoned magician,
it shows off its amazing conjuring trick.
In April it points,
Half-sheathed in a green glove
A rude brown finger. In August
glove and finger have disappeared
and it offers, equally impertinently,
a fist of orange berries.
Trevor Hold. "Cuckoo-pint" from Chasing the Moon
|The early leaves of Lords and Ladies. Byfield, 7 February, 2013|
These early leaves are not yet showing the purple spots which give the plant its specific epithet of "maculatum". The spots seem to appear as its remarkable flower develops.