Alien but not smelly

DAY 183 (5 OCTOBER) – Stinking iris (Iris foetidissima) (Walworth, London)

It’s typical of London to find a splendid church lurking somewhere behind an unprepossessing high street. Nipping out from the London Spanish Book Fair in the crypt of the elegant St Peter’s (Liverpool Grove), I found an intriguing garden surrounding the church. And almost immediately these alien-looking seed pods.

I was surprised to learn they’re stinking iris, as I didn’t notice an unpleasant smell. It’s also known as the roast beef plant, as the leaves when crushed are supposed to smell of roast beef. I can think of worse things.

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