Thursday, 12 August 2010

Gold, Green and White

Three colours were prominent this morning as Malcolm and I walked around the Straw's Bridge lakes. Firstly the Gold of the Canadian Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis).
This plant, as the name implies is not a native to the British Isles, but has, like many other invasive plants, become very common across the whole of Europe. Like the Rosebay Willowherb, it is often among the first species of plant to colonise an area which has been disturbed by fire. It has also been a favourite garden flower for many years, indeed, we had a patch of it in our front garden when I was a small boy. It is from these gardens, that the plant has spread throughout the land. It is a very popular plant with a whole host of insects and this stand of Goldenrod was certainly living up to this reputation. The flowers were covered with Greenbottles, Bluebottles, Hoverflies, Bees and Beetles.
Here, a Greenbottle (Phaenicia sericata) is to be seen feeding on the nectar.
In the hedges along the Nutbrook Canal, there are several White Poplar trees (Populus alba). This medium-sized tree is a member of the Aspen family 'salicaceae'. This family includes the willows, another common tree in the hedgerows. The White Poplar gets its name from the white covering of small hairs on the leaf surface which gives the tree an all-over white colour.
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