Cat's Ear or Flatweed
Cat’s Ear or Flatweed

Catkins are those, usually yellow, flowers that hang around on trees – and all sorts of other plants too. Wikipedia says that he once thought that all plants that produced catkin like flowers, belonged to the same family. He’s recently changed his mind though, and now he thinks that quite a few plants thought of the catkin idea for themselves, completely independently. It’s interesting to speculate that, if the first one to think of it had patented the idea – there would be a good few trees and plants sitting at home now, wondering how they were ever going to meet someone.

Cat’s Tails are totally unrepentant grasses. Among them are the things we often call Bulrushes. The nice thing about Bulrushes is that they are large, so you get a good pile of vegetation for the effort of collecting it. When we, here in Europe, lived where we now have mostly North Sea, there were plenty of marshy areas – just the sort of place Bulrushes love. It really isn’t surprising then, that grinding stones have been found in sites occupied thirty thousand years ago, with traces of ground-up Bulrush root still on them.

Cat’s Ear, especially the Common variety, will grow anywhere, it really has absolutely no preference. Here in the UK, against Jackie’s better judgement, it is growing happily in the lawn. In Australia it grows so well that many horse pastures become clogged up with it – and if you force horses to eat enough of it they can get stringhalt from it.

That sounds most unpleasant.