Field And Hedgerow By Richard Jefferies

 -  There is nothing in books that touches my dandelion.

It grows, ah yes, it grows! How does it grow? Builds - Page 30
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There Is Nothing In Books That Touches My Dandelion.

It grows, ah yes, it grows!

How does it grow? Builds itself up somehow of sugar and starch, and turns mud into bright colour and dead earth into food for bees, and some day perhaps for you, and knows when to shut its petals, and how to construct the brown seeds to float with the wind, and how to please the children, and how to puzzle me. Ingenious dandelion! If you find out that its correct botanical name is - Leontodon taraxacum - or - Leontodon dens-leonis - , that will bring it into botany; and there is a place called Dandelion Castle in Kent, and a bell with the inscription -

John de Dandelion with his great dog Brought over this bell on a mill cog

- which is about as relevant as the mere words - Leontodon taraxacum - . Botany is the knowledge of plants according to the accepted definition; naturally, therefore, when I began to think I would like to know a little more of flowers than could be learned by seeing them in the fields, I went to botany. Nothing could be more simple. You buy a book which first of all tells you how to recognise them, how to classify them; next instructs you in their uses, medical or economical; next tells you about the folk-lore and curious associations; next enters into a lucid explanation of the physiology of the plant and its relation to other creatures; and finally, and most important, supplies you with the ethical feeling, the ideal aspiration to be identified with each particular flower.

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