3 MAY 1940, Page 18


A Tricolor Patch

A soldier poet in the Great War wrote some agreeable verses on the tricolor theme. He had found red, white and blue flowers growing together on the edge of a trench. The cornflower and poppy he knew by name, but came to me for the identification of the milfoil, or yarrow. A three-coloured combination on the edge of a Devonshire dune reminded me of the verses. From a little distance the blue prevailed, but it was altogether surprising to discover on a closer approach that the flower was the furtive violet. Some actually lay on the• top of daisy flowers which were second in number. Hidden by both these were a number of dwarf geraniums (or erodiums). A fourth colour surrounded this patch, the bright yellow of a number of dwarfed hawkweeds. Not even an alpine meadow after the melting of the snow is brighter with flowers than that bit of so-called grass by the edge of the sea. Let us be patriotic and sing paeans to these national colours. •