Sue, over on Sue’s Words and Pictures, mentioned that, when in doubt, she tends to classify unknown plants as “probably some kind of vetch”, and I’m pretty sure that today’s photo falls into that category. I’ve always called this sort of thing Bush Vetch, but a recent chat with Google (hoping he would confirm my superior knowledge of the natural world) proved frustrating. At first, he appeared willing to bolster my ego, producing several pictures very similar to mine, plainly labelled so as to induce feelings of smug satisfaction.
If I had any sense, I would have left it at that and gone on my way secure in my infallibility. However that first flush of over confidence pushed me to cross the Rubicon. What then was the difference between my Bush Vetch and, say for instance, Common Vetch?
In response to this enquiry Google produced another large selection of images – as close to identical to the first set as to cause me to wonder if he had misheard me. A quick application of the ‘Back’ button showed that the second set of photos was, in fact, a different selection. However, the differences among the individual pictures in each set seemed to be greater than the supposed differences between the sets themselves.
I wish Linnaeus had just put a bar code on each plant instead of messing with all that Latin.