Observing Weeds

I try to leave things exactly the way they are when I take a plant photo. If there's rubbish, that's the environment in which it is growing. Cigarette butts are also useful for showing scale.

I saw this monkey flower along Regent's Canal near me in northwest London. It was something I didn't recognise but the leaves are quite unique. An exotic garden escapee.

monkey flower

-update- a couple weeks later


and in the wider environment

monkeyflower environment

It obviously grew last year. I never noticed it but imagine any flowers would have been quickly picked as the numbers walking the towpath are quite large. 

monkey flower

-update- couple weeks later

monkeyflower canal


A couple weeks later I saw another monkeyflower.


and its wider environment


it's a tough environment for plants, amazing any survive at all, the monkey flower is at the base of the wall on the right

regent's canal towpath

further along the canal the alexanders are blooming

alexanders flower

alexanders flowers

I've been observing a lot of initial basal rosettes and hope to identify and document all those I see. There have been a lot of hedge mustard and shepherd's purse especially and it's easy to confuse the two. That initial rosette of leaves is not observable on the shepherd's purse by the time it blooms.

shepherd's purse

back in my garden the ivy berries are huge, looking like bunches of grapes

ivy berries

after total failures both attempting to grow monkshood from seed and buying some small plants in the "wildflower" range from the garden centre (which never came back the next year), I bought 2 full-size plants last year as an impulse purchase from a garden centre (I try not to buy full size plants) and they've actually survived the winter and are growing, amazing

monkshood new shoots