12 APRIL 1935, Page 14

Garden Strays Some one should write a book about the

doubtful claims of trees and flowers to native birth. It is the fashion to deny that even the elm (of which there are a great number of sorts) is a British tree. The chief argument is that it does not set seed. Not long since I came upon a delightful little flower, much appreciated by insect honey seekers, that is called in English the dusky geranium: Some of the larger flowered, of the blue and ruddy cranesbills or geianiums, are certainly English ; and the biggest are particularly fond of rather remote places, the Wiltshire Downs among others ; but the botanists are inclined to put down this sweet-scented, brown flower as a " garden stray." Certainly, so far as I kriow, it is • found near houses, and is not common. In the same neigh- bourhood, the poppy that we call for no known reason the ' greater Celandine is common ; and this, too, is put down as a " garden stray." It is still a favourite with herbalists. • Not long since I found an old man with a bagful of it, which he had collected for the curing of warts.