Sheep's SorrelFriday 23rd June 2000
WHAT WERE landscaped shrub beds along the edge of the retail park in Wakefieldare now getting taken over by a thicket of Creeping Thistle.
Lowe Hill, in Thornes Park, is a sandstone outcrop at the edge of the town. Sandstone weathers to form a thin acid soil. On and around the hill Sheep's Sorrel, Rumex acetosa, which is typical of acid soils, now has reddish and yellowish flowerheads, like a tiny dock. The leaves are described as hastate; spear-shaped. The name sorrel comes from an old French word, derived from old German meaning acid, but this refers to the sour taste of the leaves, rather than the acid soils it grows in. It's leaves are sometimes used in salads.
I notice that these rooks don't have the usual bare, light-coloured patch of skin at the base of their dagger-like bills. Perhaps they are juveniles.
As if for comparison, two Carrion
Crows, which look more like small ravens, with their broader bills,
are walking on the grass at the other side of the summit plain.