Thursday, 27 August 2009

Corn cockle : Agrostemma githago

This little flower is growing in my garden. I sowed a cheap packet of mixed annuals and this was the only corn cockle to grow. I believe that once these grew wild in our corn fields, but the extensive use of herbicides put paid to them. They don't appear in all of my wild flower books, but as far as I can tell they are a native species. The flowers only seem to open in full sun, so several times I went out in the garden to photograph one, and none were open, but a sunny afternoon paid off. I cannot remember where I first saw one of these, but I instantly recognised it even though one hasn't grown in my garden for many years. The name has a real country feel and I would love to know its origin. I haven't done much research I must admit. I was pleased with the photograph which I took with the standard lens, hand held. As it was sunny I was able to have a fast shutter speed and small aperture which gave this lovely shallow depth of field making the flower really stand out against the background. I have been trying to record the flowers from my garden in water colour and want to try this, but I have a feeling I shall have to work quickly as I am sure it will close quickly if picked. I shall definitely be saving some seed for next year.
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