"Aye, dog's-fennel or beard's-crow, by their fruits they shall be betrayed"

Eupatorium capillofolium - Dog fennel
Public DomainEupatorium capillofolium - Dog fennel - Credit: Larry Allain @ USDA-NRCS Plants Database
Beard’s-crow is one of several made-up* names for plants and flowers in Cold Comfort Farm (see also, apple-blooth, dog’s-body, pussy’s dinner). Like so many words created by Stella Gibbons, these names appear humorous within their context, and have the quality of sounding as if they should exist. In the case of her made-up plants names, they are made to sound more realistic because they bear some resemblance to actual plant names.  They are also given credibility, as in the example above, when they are used in the same sentence as genuine names; in this case, with dog's fennel which is the common name for Anthemis cotula (also known as stinking chamomile). Dog fennel (rather than dog'fennel) is also the common name for Eupatorium capillofolium and plants in the genus Chamaemelum.

 *see asterisked note on bookmark p.34


Anthemis cotula - Dog's fennel
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeAnthemis cotula - Dog's fennel - Credit: Banfield