Monday, 25 July 2016

High Summer

A few clouds helped to keep the temperature down a little this morning but the heat of the last week has brought many plants into flower. Our walk through Pewit Carr and around the Manor Floods this morning, was filled with the sights and scents of these high summer flowers. Among the best for fragrance were the Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria).
Used for centuries to flavour wines and beers and as a strewing herb, these frothy, creamy flowers are a sure sign that summer is in full swing.
Along the paths maintained by the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, thousands of flowers were in bloom including vast numbers of Perforate st. John's-wort (Hypericum perforatum).
Spear Thistles (Cirsium vulgare) are always popular with bees and butterflies...
And the Teasels (Dipsacus fullonum) are beginning to flower too.
Despite looking superficially like thistles, these tall and stately plants are actually members of the Honeysuckle family. They are also very important for all sorts of wildlife including bees, butterflies and hoverflies while in flower and later, when the flowers have gone, birds feast on the seeds, particularly Goldfinches.
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