Saturday, 21 September 2013

Hawthorn

The Common Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) is a large member of the rose family and well known to most of us.  At this time of year, these trees are laden with berries or Haws.  This year, the crop seems to be especially good.
The Haws are a particular favourite of Blackbirds and Waxwings and help to sustain them through the worst of the winter weather.  A much smaller creature which feeds on the haws is the Hawthorn Shieldbug (Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale).  This individual was found in our back garden as it made its way across our patio table.  A 'True' bug, it has piercing mouth parts with which it feeds on the berries as well as sap from the stems.  This individual is a nymph in its last stage before becoming adult.
Lastly, a picture of a native flower with beautiful blue flowers which is to be found around these parts.  The Common Chicory (Cichorium intybus) is sometimes known as Blue Daisy and the leaves can be used as a salad ingredient.
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