This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol2-4", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
Found along every hedgerow, this common member of the Um-belliferae is known from its present distribution (entirely) to be limited to the North Temperate Zone, where it is found in Europe, North Africa, West Asia, as far east as N.W. India. It is found in every part of Great Britain, from Moray and Islay, southward, to the English Channel. In Yorks it is found at a height of 1350 ft.
Hedge Parsley, as implied by the name, is a plant of the wayside hedge, where it is so common as to form a regular border beneath the hawthorn itself. It is also as common in fields, where it plays the same part, lining each hedgerow or ditch for long distances together. It is only ousted by such hardy plants as Hogweed, etc, or a struggling Briar or a Hawthorn bush.
The name Hedge Parsley is often prefixed, in speaking of it, by the word upright, and it is indeed a tall, erect, rigid plant, quite unlike Knotted Hedge Parsley, which is trailing, often hiding under the grass.
The stems are branched, hard, and woody, not hollow, finely furrowed, and covered with turned-back hairs, and have a roughish feel. The stem is purplish toward the base, and the hairs give it a grey appearance. The leaves are much divided, are bipinnate, with lobes each side of a common stalk divided again, distant, spreading, with broad coarsely-toothed leaflets, the terminal one linear-lance-shaped. The nodes are distant.
At first purple or red, the flowers become white ultimately, like those of many other Umbellifers, and are contained in moderate umbels, with nearly equal petals, the general involucre containing numerous leaves. The fruit is short and prickly, but the prickles are straight When not hidden under the hedge and dwarfed, this plant may reach a height of 4 ft. It is in bloom during July and August. It is annual, dispersed by seeds.
The flowers are polygamous, white, and the outer rayed, and very small. The petals are turned inwards at the point. The styles are short and erect. Occasionally it is andromoncecious, i.e. with hermaphrodite and male flowers on the same plant, and complete flowers with anthers ripening first in the centre.
The 5 anthers are hair-like, the filaments project, and the anthers are double, longer than the 2 stigmas, ultimately turned backwards. The plant is more likely to be cross-pollinated than self-pollinated.
The visitors are few, as Diptera, Gymnosoma; Hymenoptera, Ten-thredo, Ceropales, Odynerus, Prosopis; Lepidoptera, Pieris rapce.
The fruits are curved inwards, adapted for dispersal by catching in the fur of passing animals.
This is a sand-loving plant, growing in a sand soil in which there is some amount of humus soil, or in a sandy loam with a little clay mixed with the sand.
A beetle Lixus pariplecticus, a Hymenopterous insect Trichichampus morio, and the Lepidoptera Agrotis festiva, Depressaria Applana, D. purpurea, Exapate congelatella, feed on it.
Photo. J. Holmes - Hedge Parsley (caucalis Anthriscus, Huds.)
Caucalis, Hippocrates, is the Greek name of an umbelliferous plant like this one, and Anthriscus of another one. It is called Hemlock or Rough Chervil, Rough Cicely, Hedge Parsley, Hogweed, Lady's Needlework, Mother Dere. The first name was given because the stem is spotted like the Hemlock.
Essential Specific Characters: 133. Caucalis Anthriscus, Huds. - Stem tall, slender, rigid, purplish, rough, leaves hairy, bipinnate, flowers purplish then white, in umbel, with general involucre of many leaves, fruit hooked with incurved bristles.
Dogwood or Cornel (Cornus sanguinea, L.)
A familiar tree or shrub along our waysides, Cornel occurs in Preglacial, Interglacial, and Neolithic deposits. It is distributed today throughout Europe, Siberia, and Western Asia, in the Temperate Zone. It is found throughout the Peninsula, Channel, Thames, Anglia and Severn provinces in this country. In Wales it is found in Glamorgan, Brecon, Pembroke, Montgomery, Carnarvon, Denbigh, Flint, Anglesea, and in the Trent, Mersey, Humber, Tyne, and Lakes provinces, except in the Isle of Man. It is a native in N. and W. Ireland.
Cornel or Dogwood is a common hedgerow shrub, taking the place of Hawthorn in some places, and is associated with Spindle Tree, Field Maple, Sloe, Crab, Brambles, Dog Rose, Elder, Ash, Spurge, Laurel, Elm and other hedgerow shrubs and trees. It is also found in woods, plantations, and copses, being frequently planted there, and in gardens. No shrub is more characteristic of the hedgerow than Cornel, with its red stems and deeply-veined egg-shaped leaves.
The wood is very hard. The plant is bushy, with erect branches, with acute egg-shaped, opposite leaves, cuspidate, tapered gradually to a sharp point, nearly heart-shaped below, and stalked.
The flowers are yellowish or creamy-white, and are arranged in flattened naked cymes, without any leaf-like organs. There is no involucre. The 4 calyx-teeth are minute, the petals in bud valvate. The fruit is purple.
Cornel reaches a height of 8 ft. It is flowering usually in June and July. It is a deciduous shrub, which can be multiplied by means of layers.
A fleshy ring at the base of the style secretes the honey, which lies exposed on a flat surface, and is more easily reached by short-lipped insects, e.g. Diptera, than by bees. The anthers and stigma develop together and open inwards, and are level with the centre or stigma at a little distance. An insect that alights on the flowers, and bends its head down to the fleshy disk, usually touches the stigma with one side of the head or body and one or two anthers with the other. In passing from flower to flower it cross-pollinates them, especially as in its movement it touches the anthers and the stigma with the legs or abdomen only. Small insects can self-pollinate it also by crawling over the flower. Self-pollination and cross-pollination may occur without insects, through the stigma accidentally touching the anthers of another flower. The visitors belong to Thalycra, Meli-gethes, Byturus, Dolopius, Athous, Otiorhynchus, Strangalia, Gram-moptera, Telephorus, Diptera, Empis, Hymenoptera, Pompilus. The pollen is large, rounded, and 63-75 mm. across.
Photo. B. Hanley
Dogwood Or Cornel (Cornus Sanguinea, L.)
The black fruit is edible, and the seeds are dispersed by animals and birds.
It is a humus-loving plant, growing usually in a humus soil, which it obtains in the mould in woods and hedges.
The fungi Nectria ditissima, Phyllosticta cornicola infest it, and it is galled by Hormomyia corni, a fly. It is a food plant for Selenia lunaria, Personia umbrana, Gelechia humeralis, Antispila Pfeifferella, a Homopterous insect Typhlocyba rosce, and the above gall-fly.
Cornus, Pliny, is from the Latin cornus, name of a tree of this kind, and the second Latin name, meaning bloody, refers to the red colour of the stem.
It is called Bloody Twig, Catterridge Tree, Cat Tree, Cornel Timber, Dog's Berry-tree, Dog-tree, Dog Wood, Female Cornel-tree, Gad rise, Gaiter-tree, Gaitre-berries, Gaten-tree, Gatten-tree, Gatter Bush, Gatteridge, Houndberry Tree, Houndsberry Tree, Hound's Tree, Prick Timber, Prick Tree, Prick Wood, Skewer Wood, Skiver Wood, Widbin. Prick Timber, Prickwood, Skewer Wood, are names given because it is used for skewers. The name Bloody Twig is in allusion to the colour of its twigs. Of the name Dogwood, Prior says " not so named from the animal, but from skewers being made of it".
In E. Russia the sap absorbed in a handkerchief fulfils every wish. Homer says it was given to swine. The wood was used for spear-shafts and bows. The wood is hard and tough. Cogwheels, skewers, and ramrods were once made of it. The charcoal from it is the best for gunpowder. The fruit contains oil, used abroad for soap. Growing in the shade and drip of trees, it is a valuable shrub for plantations.
Essential Specific Characters: 135. Cornus sanguined, L. - Tree or shrub, with red bark, branches straight, leaves ovate, flowers white, in terminal cyme, fruit a globular black drupe.