Saturday, 15 September 2012

Rosebay

Now at the end of its flowering season, we have a huge swathe of magenta flowered rosebay willow herb (Chamerion angustifolium) growing in the nursery field.  Most of it has finished flowering and is producing the fluffy white down which carries the seed all over the place.  Annoyingly it often lands on the blackberries you want to pick because they both appear at the same time.
 
   
 
Rosebay is known in North America as fireweed because it often colonises burnt ground.  It was one of the first plants to grow on bomb sites during the second world war and cheer them up a bit.
 
Once established it spreads not only by seed but by spreading roots which send up new stems the next year.  This is why we have so much in the nursery field.  It's beautiful but you can have too much of a good thing so we shall be cutting some of it back to give other plants a chance too.

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