Spear Thistle, Creeping Thistle and Marsh Thistle

Audio version of Thistles – P Madden Painted Lady (1) These three thistles bloom from high summer until autumn.  They are excellent for attracting a wide variety of insects because of their plentiful supplies of nectar.  Their seeds are eaten by birds, especially goldfinches.  They are also the foodplants of the Painted lady butterfly. (1) …

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Peas for Bees

Audio version of Bees – P Madden Sweet peas (1a) These flowering plants are members of the pea family.  This is the third largest flower family in the world and includes peas, beans, lupins, wisterias, gorse, clovers, brooms and trefoils. (1a,1b) They have five petals which include a flag or standard which is upright, two …

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Trumpet-Faced Thugs

Audio version of Bindweeds – P Madden The Hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium) or Ialus fáil in Irish and the Field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) or Ainleog in Irish are blooming now. (1a;1b) The former, which can grow to a height of three metres can be seen in hedges, woodland edges and waste ground; the latter is …

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Butterfly Bounty

Audio version of Butterfly – P Madden There are well over a hundred species of Buddleia in the world.  They are native to North and South America and parts of Asia and Africa.  The most popular species in gardens is Buddleia davidii or the Butterfly bush. (1a;1b) The “Buddleia” part of the name refers to …

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Poppy (Cailleach dhearg), Cornflower (Gormán), Chamomile (Fíogadán goirt) Marigold (Buíán) and Corncockle (Cogal)

Audio version of Poppy etc – P Madden These five colourful wildflowers were plentiful in cornfields decades ago when herbicides and seed cleaning were not used. They presented an eye-catching spectacle in crops of wheat, oats and barley. (1) The colour contrast provided by these annuals in cornfields ranged from scarlet in the poppies (Papaver …

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Unmissable Summer Scents

Audio version of Wild privet – P Madden Wild privet (1) Meadow sweet (2a) Mass of Meadow sweet on roadside (2b) Wild privet (Ligustrum vulgare) or Pribhéad in Irish bears heavily scented white flowers in June and July. (1)  For hundreds of years this plant was used for hedging because its shoots regenerate quickly when …

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Ox-Eye Daisies and Yarrow

Audio version of Daisy Days – P Madden Ox Eye Daisy (1a) Mass of Ox Eye Daisies (1b) The Ox-Eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) Dog daisy, Moon daisy or Nóinín mór in Irish is a very noticeable common wildflower flower.(1a;1b)  It blooms from June to August on tall stems on roadside verges, meadows, wildlife gardens and …

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