As I stomp across the heath I note and record wild flowers when I see them – and now and then I offer them up to you! So here are a few of the most recent – and no, I don’t know what these are but the bees like them!
And what are these pink guys? I don’t think they are Queen Anne’s Lace or cow parsley but what are they with those mini fern type leaves?
And indeed what is this rather graceful tall plant?….
Whatever it is I don’t think it is the dreaded Himalayan Balsam – although is it?…. However, I am pretty sure that the next image is.
I had thought that the heath was fairly free of Himalayan Balsam but I think that is just that it had to yet flower. The plant did indeed come originally from the Himalayas – in the 1830s – but is now thoroughly naturalised here. According to the Royal Horticultural Society, because it ‘tolerates low light levels and shades out other vegetation, it gradually impoverishes habitats by killing off other plants….. Each plant can produce up to 800 seeds. These are dispersed widely as the ripe seedpods shoot their seeds up to 7m (22ft) away. Once established in the catchment of a river the seeds, which can remain viable for two years, are transported further afield by water.’
If you watch railways embankments and riverbanks you will see that it is really rampant and is indeed driving out other species. To quote the RHS again:
‘The main method of non-chemical control (which they would see as more desirable) and usually the most appropriate, is pulling or cutting the plants before they flower and set seed. Conservation authorities regularly organise ‘balsam bashing’ work parties to clear the weed from marshland and riverbanks.’
And finally, the last of the fluffball ducklings from Woodberry Wetlands.
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