NS4074 : Alexanders

taken 3 years ago, near to Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire, Great Britain

(Smyrnium olusatrum)

For context, see NS4074 : Path beside Dumbarton Rock. As mentioned there, Alexanders formed a large patch beside the path. Immediately behind the plant is a sheer wall of basalt that forms the northern side of Dumbarton Rock.

In the book "Loch Lomondside" (2001, New Naturalist series), the author John Mitchell mentions the appeal, for botanists, of Dumbarton Rock, in part because of "the naturalised culinary and medicinal herbs formerly grown in the castle's kitchen and physic gardens". The author cites several examples, including Alexanders; the caption of an accompanying picture in the book mentions that this species "was probably introduced as a potherb" to the castle's kitchen gardens.

The yellow spots on the plants in this picture are the result of galling by a rust fungus, Puccinia smyrnii: see NS4074 : Rust fungus galls on Alexanders; those galls were on the same plants beside this path.

There are other patches in Alexanders in several other more open locations around the base of Dumbarton Rock; see, for example, NS4074 : Alexanders at Dumbarton Rock. Note also its mention in the list of species given at NS3974 : Musk Mallow.
Dumbarton Rock and Castle
The Rock is a volcanic plug, and it has a long history as a fortified site. For further information, see the Geograph article "Dumbarton Rock and Castle": Link
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NS4074, 222 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Friday, 13 May, 2016   (more nearby)
Monday, 13 June, 2016
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OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4004 7458 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:56.2547N 4:33.7486W
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OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4004 7459
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South-southwest (about 202 degrees)
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