May. 7th, 2016

lblanchard: (swannfountain)
[This is an occasional series of postings inspired by Abigail Rorer, Mimpish Squinnies: Reginald Farrer's Short Guide to Worthless Plants. Rorer's book includes prints of fourteen plants Farrer considered worthless-- an interesting hybrid of botanically accurate and...different. You can see her work, including all fourteen mimpish squinnies, here: ]

Reginald Farrer reserves his real ire for plants that are mimpish or plants that ramp. Here he speaks of one that is not mimpish, nor does it ramp. It's simply not one of his favorites. Clearly, he has some respect for this plant:

Just now, in the last week in June, all this expanse was bright golden with a small strange Ranunculaceous plant which I do not much like, but which certainly makes an astonishing effect, and will be dear to the hearts of all who can do with the shrill and tainted metallic yellows of Adonis. It huddles in tufts all over the gaunter desolations of the highest Alps, and among its fat and fleshy little spatulate leaves squat a number of large flowers made of very many pointed, narrow petals that expand in a shallow saucer round the green central knob, and each, at the same distance half-way down its length, dies out into a transparency that gives the shrill blossom a look of having a wide, dusky-coloured eye. Indeed, a clump well furnished with its picturesque many-rayed saucers makes a fine effect of tarnished gold, and when that effect is repeated over a whole scree till the scene is one sheet of yellow the value of the plant is still better appreciated, especially where the yellow sheet is shot with shimmering blue by accompanying millions of a funny little sapphire-coloured Wulfenia of the highest shingles, which rejoices almost beyond its merits in the beautiful name of Lagotis Ramalana, abounding, like the other, throughout all the high screes of the March as far north, at least, as the Da Tung Alps—where, however, it takes a rather larger form, with uninspiring dull white flowers, which
may turn out to be a different species.

I can't identify the Ranunculaceous plant, but here's Lagotis ramalana, shamelessly stolen from the internets:

P.S. No mice last night. Perhaps I've gotten them all.
lblanchard: (swannfountain)
I have just realized that I never posted a link to the Adobe Acrobat version of Farrer's essay on Austen that I created after receiving it in the mail. So here's the link, and here's a small image of the introductory paragraph:


lblanchard: (Default)

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