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Miriam Mesa-Villalba's forum posts

Total number of forum posts: 185

Polygonatum multiflorum

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

The berries first appear red but later turn blue-black. Best grown in partial shade in rich, moist well-drained soil, the common garden form of this native plant has the RHS's Award of Garden Merit and is a common sight in many gardens. It is prone to slug and sawfly damage after flowering.

  • Posted: Thu. 25th June 2009 19:54

Veronica spicata

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

The natural habitat of spiked speedwell is on rocks or dry grassland on lime-rich soils. It will do well in a sunny position in well-drained soil. Bees and flies are attracted to the nectar and pollen provided by this plant, as well as burnet moths.

  • Posted: Thu. 25th June 2009 19:52

Euonymus europaeus

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

The flowers, which are an insignificant, are nectar-rich and an important food source for hoverflies, bees and other insects. They are pollinated by the St Mark's fly. Both leaves and fruits are poisonous to humans. Spindle is said to be a winter refuge for the black aphids which can plague broad beans, so vegetable growers may choose to live without this species. On the other hand, once you've seen the amazing fruits you may decide you can tolerate a few aphids, which will in any case bring in blue tits and other insect-eating birds.

  • Posted: Thu. 25th June 2009 19:49
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Myriophyllum spicatum

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

The emergent stems provide places on which dragonflies and damselflies can land and up which their larvae can crawl before their transformation into adults. The plants leaves and roots will also provide shade and shelter for many other small aquatic invertebrates. A closely related species is Myriophyllum aquaticum, known as parrot's feather, from South America, is causing havoc to native wildlife. So, make sure you get the right species.

  • Posted: Thu. 25th June 2009 19:44

Cirsium vulgare

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

This is one of the commonest, and, arguably, one of the best-looking thistles. A good nectar plant, this thistle is either biennial or perennial. As with most thistles, the seeds are eaten by small birds, especially goldfinches. The flowers are attractive to butterflies and moths, including the small copper and the large skipper.

  • Posted: Thu. 25th June 2009 19:36

Saponaria oficinalis

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

Soapwort is a robust plant with thick underground runners that can be invasive. It also self seeds freely. As the name suggests, the leaves of this plant when boiled in water produce a lathery liquid may be used to wash wool. The plant was grown commercially for this purpose in Britain and is still used to clean delicate fabrics like old tapestries .

  • Posted: Wed. 24th June 2009 19:49

Amelanchier canadensis

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

Snowy mespile is a charming plant from north America that gives a constant change of colour.
Both the seeds and the fruit attract birds, and one of these trees, planted in the grounds of the Lewes office of English Nature, is rarely without a greenfinch or two when the seeds are ripe.

  • Posted: Wed. 24th June 2009 19:46

Galanthus nivalis

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

Although it may not be native to England, it has long been naturalised in moist woods, road verges, parks and churchyards. Its frequent occurrence on religious sites may be connected with the coincidence of its flowering period with Candlemas, on 2 February. The flowers are pollinated by the first bees to emerge on warm days. The word Galanthus is of Greek origin, and roughly signifies 'milkflower', referring to the white coloration of the flowers. Nivalis means 'relating to or resembling snow'.

  • Posted: Wed. 24th June 2009 19:43

Antirrhinum majus

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

Although not native, snapdragon has been cultivated in Britain since Elizabethan times, and is a good nectar source for bumble bees, about the only insects, other than toadflax pollen beetles Brachypterus sp. which are capable of opening the 'bunny rabbit' flowers.

  • Posted: Wed. 24th June 2009 19:39

Poa pratensis

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

This common but very attractive grassland plant is one of the food plants for the caterpillars of several species of butterfly including the meadow brown, the gatekeeper and the small heath.

  • Posted: Wed. 24th June 2009 19:36