Sunday, January 1, 2012

Naming difficulties Walwort

So i'm looking at plant lists from Jon Gardener, both an early work by Alicia Amherst, but also a list by John Harvey.  For a plant which Jon names Walwort, Alicia Amherst says that this is Sedum acre, but John Harvey lists wallwort as being Sambucus ebulus.

So, Sambucus ebulus is
Danewort (Sambucus ebulus), also known as Dane Weed, Danesblood, Dwarf Elder or European Dwarf Elder and Walewort[1] is a herbaceous species of elder, native to southern and central Europe and southwest Asia. It grows to 1-2 m tall, with erect, usually unbranched stems growing in large groups from an extensive perennial underground rhizome. The leaves are opposite, pinnate, 15-30 cm long, with 5-9 leaflets with a foetid smell. The stems terminate in a corymb 10-15 cm diameter with numerous white (occasionally pink) flowers. The fruit is a small glossy black berry 5-6 mm diameter. The ripe fruit give out a purple juice.[1]
The name Danewort comes from the belief that it only grows on the sites of battles that involved the Danes.[1] The term 'Walewort' or 'Walwort' meant 'foreigner plant.' The plant's stems and leaves turn red in autumn and this may explain the link with blood. The word Dane may link to an old term for diarrhoea

This is very obviously not sedum acre
Sedum acre, commonly known as the Goldmoss Stonecrop, Goldmoss Sedum, Biting Stonecrop, Wallpepper, and the picturesque name Welcome home husband though never so drunk, is a perennial plant native to Europe, but also naturalised in North America. This plant grows as a creeping ground cover, often in dry sandy soil, but also in the cracks of masonry. It grows well in poor soils, sand, rock gardens, and rich garden soil, under a variety of light levels. However, it does not thrive in dense shade with limited water.
The leaves are simple, smooth-margined, and succulent. The flowers are yellow, Spring-blooming, in sprays held above the foliage.

Being that all I have currently is a list of names, without additional context how can I discern which plant Jon Gardner meant?

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