Schrodinger's Catmint

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday, 5 June 2011 19:58

Any opportunity to shoe horn in some quantum physics. I went a walk in the rain today to look for Catmint in Preston Park. I found a labiate that I did not recognise but it was not in flower so I decided to take a leaf. I didn't really know what Catmint smells of but this plant was decidedly lemony, I suspected it was something different. How could I test it? Well, I needed a cat to see whether the leaf would have an effect. As I walked back up the hill, I thought that, until identified, the leaf in my pocket was both Catmint and not Catmint. In a childish parody of the thought experiment Schrodinger's Cat, the true state of the leaf would not be revealed until I opened the pot next to the cat. Until that point it existed in a bizarre state of vegetative uncertainty. My neighbour provided a cat and the cat's reaction was complete disinterest. Not Catmint then. A bit of research showed that the most likely plant was Balm or Lemon Balm which makes sense and is actually a tick for me so all was not lost.
Being wet and warm outside the walls of Brigthon were covered in the pill woodlouse Armadillidium depressum. I now realise that this is perhaps the commonest woodlouse in Brighton and that I have been seeing this for decades without realising what it was.

5 Response to "Schrodinger's Catmint"

Anonymous Says:

theres a chance its Monarda citriodora,2-3ft tall,flowers early July

Graeme Lyons Says:

I'm pretty sure it's not that. The leaves were a very different shape.

admin Says:

haha,how odd a coincidence. I saw a photo today entitled Scrodinger's pussy cat, but thats another story ;)
Lemon Balm for sure, are you allowed what i would call garden escapees as ticks ?

Graeme Lyons Says:

If it's naturalised, I will add it to my list.

folr Says:

Just had a random idea, you will of noticed the FOLR blog. and the pond dip mention for the 19th.. If your free on that Sunday morning , you would be most welcome to pop up there

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