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Miriam Mesa-Villalba's forum posts

Total number of forum posts: 185


Rosmarinus officinalis

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

It flowers from mid-spring to early summer and will sometimes repeat-flower in the autumn. It is often humming with bees. Rosemary is a native of the Mediterranean. As a culinary herb, rosemary is used for flavouring meat, poultry, savoury dishes and salads.

  • Posted: Fri. 19th June 2009 17:50
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Plantago lanceolata

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

Regarded as a weed by gardeners who want a perfect lawn, the inoffensive ribwort plantain will pay back those with a more tolerant approach by encouraging many of the smaller butterflies and moths into their gardens. The plant can look quite attractive.The flowerheads gradually turn brown and the seeds remain around for most of the winter to provide food for birds such as goldfinch.A number of moth caterpillars will feed on this species including those of the small fan-footed wave moth, which might occur in gardens. Some weevils of the genus Ceuthorhynchidius and the weevil species Tychius picirostris may also be found on ribwort plaintain. It provides pollen for some hoverflies.

  • Posted: Thu. 18th June 2009 18:55

Centranthus ruber

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

This fine cottage garden plant is original from the Mediterranean. The flowers are a source of nectar for bees and also many butterflies and moths, including the hummingbird hawk-moth.
The name Centranthus originates from the Greek words kentron, meaning a spur, and anthos, meaning a flower. This is a reference to the corolla, the petals as a whole having spurs at the base.

  • Posted: Thu. 18th June 2009 18:52

Festuca rubra ssp. rubra

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

Varieties of red fescue are used for fine-leaved lawns. It plays an important role in the life cycle of the marbled white butterfly which may occasionally be seen in gardens in the Downs and in the west country and is also one of the food plants of the gatekeeper, another attractive butterfly.

  • Posted: Thu. 18th June 2009 18:44

Trifolium pratense

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

Wild red clover is becoming less common and those growing on verges and improved fields may be one of the vigorous agricultural varieties. Red clover makes a colourful addition to a lawn or wildflower meadow. Wood mice may stores the leaves and it is also an important nectar source for many insects including the common carder bumble bee.

  • Posted: Thu. 18th June 2009 18:42

Silene dioica

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

As well as with bluebells, plant it with primroses, greater stitchwort, columbines, foxgloves and ferns for a long colourful display in a lightly shaded border under trees, at the bottom of a hedge or on a grassy bank. It has a tendency to attract aphids but seems to survive their depredations better than cultivated plants.

  • Posted: Wed. 17th June 2009 19:46

Allium ursinum

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

Ramsons can be found in damp woods, scrub, hedges and on shady banks, where its garlicky aroma will fill the air. The leaves are edible but have a suprisingly mild flavour. This is an excellent plant for ground cover in a wet corner of the garden.

  • Posted: Wed. 17th June 2009 19:41

Lychnis flos-cuculi

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

Ragged-robin is a lovely but declining plant in the wild due to drainage of its natural wetland habitats. The second part of the botanical name translates as 'the flower of the cuckoo'. Ragged-robin comes into flower when cuckoos are calling most obviously, as does the unrelated lady's-smock - another plant known as the cuckoo flower.

  • Posted: Wed. 17th June 2009 19:38

Salix purpurea

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

The bark of the twigs is rich in aspirin and was, traditionally, chewed to help with headaches before the drug became so widely and cheaply available. Most drugs owe something to plants, which is one excellent reason why we should be so concerned at the mass extinctions humans are causing. Like all native species of willow, purple willow supports a great variety of insects including a variety of species of moth.

  • Posted: Wed. 17th June 2009 19:34

Linaria purpurea

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

It was introduced from the Mediterranean but has colonised waste places such as railway embankments. This is a valuable species for bees, hoverflies and moths, including the day-flying silver Y and hummingbird hawk-moths.

  • Posted: Wed. 17th June 2009 19:31