Sunday, June 22, 2014

Gooseneck Loosestrife

In my friend's garden, the gooseneck loosestrife are in bloom. They nod their heads blindly, conjuring up a shred of memory of an unfortunate encounter with a territorial goose at the age of three. What other name could this plant possibly have? The proper, orderly Latin names of plants are useful for classification, but give me a folk name with an origin lost in the mists of time. Dutchman’s britches, bleeding hearts, black-eyed susans, monkshood, beebalm, hens and chicks; each plants and its name is a perfect match.