"Harden off your knobweed": BBC apologises after mentioning plant's rude name

Harden off your knobweed

Too rude ... Knobweed

Sun Gardening Writer
7th February 2008
The Sun

THE BBC have apologised after a radio show mentioned a plant called Black Man’s Willy – but the bloom is not alone in having a naughty name.

There’s also Knobweed, Stiffcock and Shagbark to name just three.

When panellists on Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time were asked the best way to grow BMW (Rhodochiton Volubilis), they had the audience in stitches with their answers.

Expert Anne Swithinbank talked about it "shrivelling up".

And the appropriately named Bob Flowerdew said he had "only ever seen one close up — and not that colour."

Other green-fingered terms that won’t go down well with the politically correct brigade include hardening off (acclimatising plants to cool conditions) and pricking out (transplanting seedlings).

To help you spot the rudest plants, we’ve unearthed the pictures below, along with their common names and Latin monickers.

Climber ... Black Man's Willy

BLACK MAN’s WILLY (Rhodochiton Volubilis): It’s a climber with flower petals that form a tubular purple-black, protruding centre. It’s also known as the less-offensive Purple Bells

I'm not that innocent ... Virgin Thistle

VIRGIN THISTLE(Cirsium Virginense): No blushing flower this, it’s a perennial weed with spiny leaves, creeping roots and small, yellow flowers carried in tufts on a slender stem in summer.

Yeah, baby! ... The Shagbark

THE SHAGBARK (Cary Ovata): No, it’s not the call of a randy Austin Powers. It’s a medium-sized tree with grey bark which separates into long strips, giving a shaggy, untidy look.

Simply the breast ... Nipplewort

NIPPLEWORT (Lapsana communis): Not only cheekily named but edible. The common name comes from its use as a herbal remedy for nursing mothers, nanny goats and dairy cows.

Nature's Viagra ... This plant is called Stiff Cock....and, coincidentally, is also used to make a herbal form of Viagra!

STIFF COCK (Diospyros Crassenevis): This native of the Bahamas has strong-smelling leathery leaves which are used to make a tea that is claimed to be the herbal form of Viagra.

Hand-some plant ... Cockhold Herb

COCKHOLD HERB (Bidens Connata): A plant with yellow daisy-like flowers produced in late summer and autumn. The tufted seeds attach to fur and clothing to aid their spread.

Cheeky ... Shaggy Solider

SHAGGY SOLDIER (Galinsoga Quadriradiata): This small annual has leaves that look like those of the basil herb. In summer it has small yellow and white daisy flowers.

Lewd leaves ... Sticky Willy

STICKY WILLY (Galium aparine): It has small rounded fruits with tiny hooks on them. These catch on clothing and animal fur, so that the seeds are carried long distances.

I'm printing that.

Good one Blackleaf.

I'm printing that.

Good one Blackleaf.

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