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Country diary: there's new life in Miss Willmott's Ghost

14.09.2020
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Allendale, Northumberland: A spider has anchored its nest to flowers and stems, linking the sea hollies in fine threadsThe summer boom may be over but there are still insects feeding from the sea hollies in my garden. There's nectar in their steely grey tops though the lower flowerheads are browning and going to seed. White-tailed bumblebees work fast, probing the tiny clusters of five flowers, interspersed with spiny barbs, that are rhythmically arranged in tall domes. This is Eryngium giganteum, also known as Miss Willmott's Ghost, which is named after Ellen Willmott, an early guerrilla gardener who left a trail of seeds in the gardens she visited.I've seen the native wild eryngo, E maritimum, growing in the gravels of the north Norfolk coast. A shorter plant, its flowers are metallic blue and burr-shaped and, like my garden variety, protected by a silver ruff of viciously spiked bracts. Sea hollies are actually umbellifers and, like so many of the apiaceae, very attractive to insects, in this case to wasps in particular. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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