Monday, 4 July 2011


Cardoon, Shelly Road, Exmouth - click to enlarge
We took a break from shopping in Exmouth to walk around the quay area, where I took the above crossed-eye stereopair of a cardoon, a close relative of the globe artichoke. It's a legacy vegetable (see John Claudius Loudon's 1849 The Horticulturist, page 671, and various older texts made rude and amusing by the "long s"). It might best be described as technically edible: most of it, except the leaf stalks, is bitter and/or spiky, so it's mostly used ornamentally in Britain these days. The garden where the above nice specimen grows, on Shelly Road, is in front of Exmouth's "Ropewalk wall", which formed the back of a 200-yard covered area used to dry newly-tarred ropes. See Memories of the Quay’s shipbuilders, by Ian Dowell, at the Exmouth Quay Residents' Association site.

- Ray

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