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Miriam Mesa-Villalba's forum posts

Total number of forum posts: 185


Ligustrum ovalifolium

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

Probably the most common hedging plant in Britain until fairly recently, this species of privet, is originally from Japan, Wild privet Ligustrum vulgare is the preferred choice for wildlife and will support the magnificent privet hawk-moth but so-called garden privet also has its uses and may provide nesting sites for blackbirds and other species. Left to grow a little less tidily than many gardeners allow, the structure will become more open and also offer nesting opportunities for dunnocks, linnets, greenfinches and song thrushes.

  • Posted: Tue. 16th June 2009 16:58

Primula vulgaris

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

The primrose is one the first plants to come into bloom - the name comes from prima rosa meaning ' first rose' - with flowers appearing as early as January in some mild, sheltered locations. It provides an important early nectar source for bees and is particularly attractive to bee flies.

  • Posted: Tue. 16th June 2009 16:54

Prunus lusitanica

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

This is often used as a hedging plant and is more tolerant of chalk than other Prunus species. It is often dense enough to be used as a nesting site by birds like the song thrush and its flowers offer nectar and pollen to bees.

  • Posted: Tue. 16th June 2009 16:52

Polypodium vulgare

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

There are three, very closely related and similar species. Common polypody is found predominately on acidic rocks and soils, while intermediate and southern polypody prefer more basic substrates. Numerous cultivars exist, with a range of different frond shapes. Few invertebrates are associated with ferns and their role in wildlife gardening is therefore rather limited. However, useful ladybirds may sometimes be found sheltering among the fronds.

  • Posted: Tue. 16th June 2009 16:50

Hypericum perforatum

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

The leaves have translucent glands which give a perforated appearance. It has been used as a herbal treatment for depression, but causes sensitivity to sunlight and there is debate as to whether medical trials support its efficacy. It is a rich source of nectar and pollen. Several leaf beetles Chrysolina sp and a couple of pot beetles Cryptocephalus sp. are specific to members of the Hypericum family. The stems of members of this family exude a red juice when broken.

  • Posted: Tue. 16th June 2009 16:45

Linum perenne

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

The flowers offer nectar and pollen to bees. The fruit is a round capsule which splits open to reveal 10 smaller seeds. Two flax flea beetles, Aphthona euphorbiae and Longitarsus parvulus may be found on the foliage.The species now cultivated widely in southern and eastern England for linseed oil is the closely related Linum usitatissimum.

  • Posted: Thu. 11th June 2009 19:25

Pulsatilla vulgaris

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

The flowers start out upright and extend their anthers for the insects to pollinate. Early solitary bees may be seen on their circles of golden anthers. In the past, many bunches were wild-collected and sold in cities by flower girls. The name was first derived from the French passefleur, 'the flower which excels', but it was modified to 'pasque' or Easter flower because this is when it is usually in bloom.

  • Posted: Thu. 11th June 2009 19:20

Primula elatior

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

They resemble cowslips but the flowers of oxlip are larger, paler and more open. As a wild plant, the oxlip is confined to woods on the East Anglian boulder clay. However, it is often confused with the so-called false oxlip, the natural hybrid between cowslip and primrose. This is widespread, but has deeper yellow flowers.

  • Posted: Thu. 11th June 2009 19:15

Leucanthemum vulgare

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

Ox-eye daisies or moon daisies are among the first plants to establish themselves in a wildflower meadow. It grows well on any soil in a sunny position. It makes an excellent addition to the wildlife garden and attracts many insects.

  • Posted: Thu. 11th June 2009 19:11

Mahonia aquifolium

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

It is a welcome and useful source of nectar and pollen for bees. The dense clusters of bell-shaped flowers are bright lemon-yellow. These give way to black berries which may be taken by various species of bird.

  • Posted: Thu. 11th June 2009 19:07