July Wildflower Watch – Heather, Lichen, Meadowsweet and Yellow Loosestrife

Painted Lady butterfly on Bell heather at Dry Heath

Painted Lady butterfly on Bell heather at Dry Heath

Michelle Salter writes:

Walking through the Dry Heath, I took the above photo of a Painted Lady butterfly resting on one of the many patches of purple Bell heather currently in flower there. Native to dry heathland, Bell heather is an evergreen shrub that is attractive to a wide range of insects, including bees and butterflies.

Lichen on Dry Heath

Lichen on Dry Heath

Growing in spongy tufts between the swathes of colourful heather is bushy lichen. Commonly found in drier areas of heathland, the pale green stems make a stark contrast to the rich colours of the surrounding heather.

Meadowsweet by railway station carpark footpath

Meadowsweet by railway station carpark footpath

The foamy flowers of Meadowsweet are currently on display at the edge of the pond alongside the station car park. A member of the rose family; the creamy white clusters of flowers have a strong, almond-like fragrance and were once used to sweeten honey wine.

Yellow Loosestrife by Hemelite Bay jetty

Yellow Loosestrife by Hemelite Bay jetty

There are always plenty of wildflowers to be found along the stretch of footpath parallel to the railway line, and the golden flowers of Yellow loosestrife are presently adding splashes of colour to the water’s edge. Found in moist habitats such as marshes, fens and stream sides, the spikes of yellow flowers provide a plentiful supply of pollen for bees.

Photo credits: Michelle Salter

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