The opinions of an opinionated Southlander
First thought - ginger plant root, but the more I look at it, a seriously deformed carrot plant root.
You've bagged my 'plant-mysteries'before, PM, but this one's tougher. You're correct that it's a root, but haven't settled on the right plant. It's not deformed at all - this is how they look. I hope you'll have another go.Clue - the root is edible, as are the young leaves and stems. Not commonly eaten though.
Certainly not the ghastly insecty thing it looks likeA root, I was thinking a black carrot of the old type so failing that, a birch tree root
It does look insectoid, Ray and ghastly indeed. Yes, a root. No, not an old-variety black carrot, not a birch tree root. You've made me think again of winesap though! That's good.I'll name it tonight, but not just yet...someone may know.
How about a clue?
Of course. It's a biennial herb of the apacieae family. Native to the Mediterranean.
Apiaceae... that narrows it down then ;-) It's a distinct root, white on the inside with a dark skin...Lovage? Alexanders? Angelica?
oh hang on, biennial.... that's not Lovage then. Not sure about alexanders. Angelica?
Please put us out of our misery !!
Your 'scatter-gun' approach worked, wildcrafty. That's the root of an expired Alexander. It smells distinctive (and nice) and I'm going to dry it as I have with roots of a number of other big herbs (elecampane, cow parsley, chicory etc.) and keep them on a shelf. One day, I'll find and dry some mandrake, henbane and giant hogweed to sit alongside of them. Perhaps even a triffid.
That's quite a shelf of herbs Robert!Alexanders is a stunning plant. I found it did get around a bit too much in my previous garden though.
It is a keen colonizer, wildcrafty. Cow parsley makes it seem sluggish though - want to get rid of a field of couch? Introduce cow parsley!I've focused on elecampane this season. It doesn't spread at all and has to be planted where you want it to be, but I'm keen to have the glorious thing everywhere, so I've raised it underglass then transplanted it all around. It's very robust and will grow in place for ever.
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