Thursday, 2 May 2013

Dandelion flush

It usually happens in early or mid-April but this year the dandelion flush is now,  at the beginning of May.

 
If this flower were not so common and such a successful coloniser of lawns and vegetable patches, it would be treasured as one of the most beautiful flowers.  It is also an excellent early source of nectar for pollinating insects.  Here are a couple of hungry small bees I managed to snap before they zoomed off.
 
  
 
A close relative that comes out even earlier than the dandelion is the Coltsfoot, so named because of the shape of its leaves.  As you can see below, it is much smaller than the dandelion, paler yellow and has a button in the centre.
 
 
                                                                       Two little coltsfoot flowers next to a dandelion                                          This photo taken last March
 
The seedheads, forming now, are a bit like dandelion clocks but whiter and denser on scaly stalks, whereas dandelion flower stalks are smooth.

Coltsfoot seedheads photographed  01/05/2013 
 
 
 


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