Saturday, 25 April 2020

Settle Wildflowers - Day 11 Blue 3 - Indigo

I wasn't going to do bluebells  till next week as I think of Wood Anemones in April and Bluebells in May.  But by popular demand - and because the hot dry weather is bringing everything forward.. It is Bluebells today!
And two of my other favorites: Blue Moor-grass and Blue Bugle. 
Indeed like the London buses (used to be)  I'm now doing run of three blue days.  I will  have three more blue (violet) flowers tomorrow.

And I'll talk about the  conundrum of the colour indigo - see end of this post.

1.  Bluebells 
Native bluebells with their narrow tubes, curled up petals and narrow leaves are just coming out e.g. in Craven Bank Lane above Giggleswick and in many of our woods, and on steep banksthat may have been woodlands once.

A. Native Bluebells

B. Spanish Bluebells. These are garden plants - and a problem when they escape to the wild because they hybridize with our native species. Spanish Bluebells the flower heads are wider and they hang on all sides of the stem, not just one side, and the leaves are wider.

Top of Rose Hill / Bottom of the Mains, Giggleswick:  Not sure if these are hybrids or if they are Spanish Bluebells. Definitely not native ones.

 I refer you to specialist websites for this. e.g. gardening which   and BSBI

2. Blue Bugle:

This was growing on the hillside above the path from Langcliffe to Lower Winskill. It likes hedgerows and woodland edge and banks.

Plant 3: Blue Moor-grass

Blue Moor grass is the first grass to flower - It comes out in March.  By now (late April) it is getting taller and losing its blueness.

It grows where there are limestone cliffs. So there is a tiny bit on Castleberg Crag, and lots on the hill higher up, and on the top of Giggleswick Quarry and on Giggleswick Scar.  It grows on the little cliff at the layby in Winskill Stones Planlife Reserve.

People come all the way to Yorkshire  (And Lancs and Cumbria) to see Blue Moor-grass. Here is the distribution map

Blue Moor-grass

Click here for  more flowers coming out around Settle

The three plants above  are sort of indigo colour.

But what colour is indigo?

I was brought up constantly referring to my American cousin
Roy G. Biv 
Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.

But I had some unease because my experience of indigo - -the vats in Kano, Northern Nigeria - where they die cloth indigo colour - use a dye that is navy blue or slightly yellower blue than one that is a violet blue. - See colour of dye from the indigo plant here

Now I discover that it was Newton who decided that there should be seven colours in the rainbow.. and he chose the colours - It was just his personal choice to have seven colours rather than six (or any other number for that matter because the rainbow is a spectrum of colours).

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