Macro Monday #21

A monster in the garden?

(click to enlarge to full size)


I spotted this unusual bract hiding in the leaves. I believe it to be a Wild Angelica, (Angelica sylvestris) Common Hogweeed (not to be confused with the rather poisonous Giant Hogweed) found in hedgerows and which grows to 1- 2 m in height. The large, mound-shaped flowers are pink-tinged at first, becoming white. I’ll feature the flowers later in the year.

(Thanks Steve for helping me identify this correctly. If you want exquisite flower photography then please pop over to his wonderful wild flowers of Texas site)


30 Comments Add yours

  1. I love this. Almost abstract in form and such sharpness. I await the flowers.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I noticed flowers opening yesterday but it was too windy to get a photo, I’ll keep trying! They are like cow parsley or wild carrot – an umbellifer.

      1. They are beautiful!!!

  2. DailyMusings says:

    beautiful- I am always intrigued by furry plants

  3. Arkenaten says:

    I initially thought an abstract view of a Venus Fly Trap.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I must admit when I spied this through the leaves I wondered what on earth it was! Gave me quite a scare!

  4. desleyjane says:

    Wow this is fabulous. Love the furry bits.

  5. Sue Slaght says:

    I had to restrain myself from touching the screen Jude. So vivid i felt surely I should be able to feel the tiny prickles on the plant.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I think they are quite soft hairs, but I don’t know. They are behind some stinging nettles so I kept my hands well away 🙂

      1. Sue Slaght says:

        Yes u am likely safest behind the screen. 🙂

  6. restlessjo says:

    Oo-er! More scarey than Lukas Rosol. 🙂 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Indeed. He is certainly giving Stan the man something to work for!

  7. Lucid Gypsy says:

    These ae fabulous before the flowers burst through – the flowers are pretty too but somehow I think they should turn out different to what they do!

  8. Marsha says:

    They are gorgeous. Glad you shared! 🙂

  9. Whoa, that header pic looks like some mutant spider from a 1950s B film. “Attack of the Garden Monsters!!”

    1. Heyjude says:

      It did give me a bit of a fright as I could only glimpse the purple hairy bit through the nettles. Rather relieved to find it was only the leaf/flower bract.

  10. Prior-2001 says:

    Really beautiful close up – and the veins (lines) are so nice with the fuzz – I looked at the close-up of it and wow!
    Also – quick question – I read that you said this was found behind stinging nettle – well is that the same kind of nettle they use for tea!

    1. Heyjude says:

      I believe it is the stinging nettle used for tea, you need to pick the leaves when they are young and tender – with thick gloves on! As I loathe tea I won’t be bothering with that 😀

      1. Prior-2001 says:

        Wow – I pictured you as a tea drinker – you know as being such a botanist and all – but tea is not everyone’s cup of tea (ok – that was bad!)
        Anyhow – loathe is a very strong word – so I get it! Is coffee on your list?

    2. Heyjude says:

      Oh, yes, definitely coffee but the real stuff! I have been known to drink peppermint tea, but most herbals smell better than they taste.

      1. Prior-2001 says:

        Agreed on the tea vs taste – and I had nettle tea years ago – but cannot recall the taste – hmmm
        Well hope u have a nice rest of the week – 😉

  11. Wat a hairy monster! Your closeups are superb, Jude. 🙂

  12. It looks like it could bite… I had to look up umbellifer, thinking it was some kind of jungle terminology. Waiting for next episode now intrigued to know what the flower looks like.

  13. I looked at pictures of Angelica sylvestris but none seemed to show leaves as thick and fuzzy as those in your photograph.

    1. Heyjude says:

      This was of a leaf emerging, the rest of them aren’t so hairy. It is difficult to see whether the leaf shape is the same. Maybe it is a different umbellifer?


    2. Heyjude says:

      Possible suspect – Common Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium)

      1. The leaves in the photograph in your reply do seem similar to those of Heracleum sphondylium.

        1. Heyjude says:

          Just watched a video of a guy foraging

          – apparently this plant is edible and a hit with chefs 😕 The young leaves in salads and the emerging leaves (used like broccoli) and the young stems cooked similar to asparagus. I ought to give it a try, but wouldn’t want to get it confused with the Giant Hogweed!

      2. If you can get an expert to confirm the identity, then it’s off to the kitchen for you and the plant. What a menace the giant hogweed is.

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