During Friday’s search for more leafmines, I ventured along roads I hadn’t walked before, and I’m so glad I did as I found a new plant – well, an abundance of new plants really, growing all along the roadside verge in front of Cardiff’s main Royal Mail delivery centre. This is Gallant-soldier (Galinsoga parviflora).
I’ve read several variations of its history in Britain: here’s what is written in Flora Britannica:
Gallant-soldier … was brought to Kew Gardens from Peru in 1793, bearing a name that commemorated the Spanish botanist Don Mariano Martinez de Galinsoga. The plant itself was rather less imperious, being a thin, lax and greenish-flowered daisy with weedy habits. In the early 1860s it escaped from Kew and became widely established in gutters, gardens and waste places around Richmond … Galinsoga was corrupted to ‘Gallant soldier’.
Since their escape from Kew, these soldiers have marched far and wide, though they haven’t yet reached all parts of the British Isles, and there are not a lot of Welsh records. You can see a map of their whereabouts on the NBN Atlas website.