Saturday, January 21, 2012

Wall pennywort ...

... or navelwort.


Turns out this stuff is edible, supposedly with a flavour somewhere between lettuce and mangetout peas, which doesn't sound bad.  All this time I've been living surrounded by it and I never knew, Richard Mabey doesn't mention it either.  It may be diuretic, however, as many comestible wild plants are.  For some reason we got the idea into our heads it was called stone pennywort, which actually sounds prettier, I think, though navelwort is also good and very descriptive of its form, which has always appealed to me as being almost closer to that of a larger-than-life lichen.  The tumbling repeating circles of it have a rather art nouveau look, and I think it has been used as a design motif.

Anyway, that's it for a Saturday night post.  Off now for my weekly rendez-vous with Clint Eastwood, for whose westerns I have lately conceived an unusual enthusiasm, and the last glass in the bottle.

12 comments:

NT said...

Lovely collage!

marja-leena said...

Gorgeous collage - a great design motif! Such a pretty plant, I don't think I have seen that one. What size are the leaves?

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Well, for one, I will wait a bit longer until we get an update on the real taste, first hand. Or first tongue.

HLiza said...

How will you cook them if it's edible? Do share. Clint eastwood..hum..

Bruce Taylor, a.k.a. Catalyst said...

I love your new header photo.

I was an extra in a Clint Eastwood movie once and got a very close-up look at him. Nice, extremely quiet guy.

marly youmans said...

Lovely wall-pennies!

Did you see the Coen brothers' "True Grit"? Might make a nice contrast with Eastwood...

earlybird said...

Edible? Steamed? Boiled? Raw?

Lovely photos.

Your new header is a treat. I like it very much.

Plutarch said...

Those westerns are ace not least for the music of Ennio Morricone which occurs in film other than Clint's I know.

zephyr said...

Charming mosaic.
i surprised myself with how much i enjoyed Clint when i finally got around to a "Dirty Harry" movie

Anne said...

The collage is lovely. Do you cook it or eat it in a salad perhaps.

I don't think we have it over here..

Lucy said...

Well thank you.

The pennywort used to grow in profusion in the stone walls and banks around Devon, and is very common here, and I think also grows in Portugal and northern Spain, whereas you don't see it at all elsewhere, so it's obviously a western fringes kind of thing, and probably likes acid soils. There didn't seem to be too many recipes around, most of the foraging websites people were just picking it and munching it on the hoof, so I'll have to experiment! The leaves vary from a centimetre up to perhaps four or five, the size of a big old-fashioned (British) penny.

At the moment I'm only really interested in the CE westerns; I'm not very drawn to the Dirty Harry films (though I didn't know I'd like the westerns so much either so who knows?), and I couldn't be doing with those comedies he did with the Orang Utan and his pointless wife of the time (Clint's, not the Orang Utan's...) I like watching him, I know he sometimes crosses the line from captivating stillness and quietude into formulaic woodenness, but his acting and the characters he plays are more subtle than they are often seen to be, not just macho, strong and silent, gun-blasting, vengeance driven etc. And there are other actors in them I like watching too; I want to draw Lee Van Cleef's face with all it's interesting planes and angles and asymmetries, and I just love that his character in The Good the Bad and the Ugly is called Angel Eyes, when he really looks like some weird and scary God's-assassin-type angel from an ancient fresco or something!

But it's also the cinematography; I think I've become much more able to watch films as much for their visual beauty and style as for their stories and subject matter, rather in the way I'll read novels more for the prose now. Frame after frame of some of them, especially the Leone ones, are just stunning, painterly, sumptuous, perfect compositions. And yes, there's also the Morricone scores, which we've had on CD for years.

I've not seen 'True Grit', but would like to; more like the book, they say. I'll look for the DVD.

Crafty Green Poet said...

it's a lovely plant and this collage is beautiful.