Monday, 27 July 2015

Rags

The countryside is filled with yellow right now. Among the most common flowers to add their yellow colouring are those belonging to the Ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris).
This is a well-known plant which can be found growing on the country's highways and byways all over the place. It goes by several common names, most of which are rather less than polite - so here goes... Known a s Stinking Willy, Stinking Nanny, Stammerwort and even Mare's Fart!
A member of the Daisy family, it gets most of these names from the nasty smell of the leaves. It is very popular with bees, butterflies and a wide range of pollinating insects. The orange and black stripy caterpillars of the Cinnabar moth find them irresistible too - as can be seen in the background here.
Another yellow flower to be found around these parts at the moment is the Yellow-wort (Blackstonia perfoliata). Not so common as the Ragwort, this is a member of the Gentian family and is more-or-less at its northern limit in the UK. These are to be found growing in the old gravel car-parks of Shipley Woodside, holding their bright yellow petals on top of glaucous stems and leaves. Beautiful!
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