Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Botany picture #94: Agrostemma githago

Agrostemma githago (Caryophyllaceae), Germany, 2005. This wild carnation used to be a common weed of crop fields in Germany. I have heard of the saying "Rade, Rade rot, morgen frisches Brot", meaning that if this species is in flower the harvest would be close. These days, however, it has become very rare due to modern agricultural practices.

This plant is also a good example for the different classification of plant species between countries. Here in Australia, people differentiate between native and introduced species. In Germany, there are three categories: (1) native, (2) archaeophytes, that is plants introduced thousands of years ago with the advent of neolithic agriculture, and (3) neophytes, plants introduced after 1492.

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