27th August 2015

Common Fleabane: This beautiful and often overlooked flower, as beautiful as a garden flower, is to be found at this time of year in all but the very north of England, and Scotland. It thrives in damp areas and ditches, spreading by rhizomes to form large patches when in ideal conditions. Its name tells the story- it smells pretty acrid and it was used as an insect-repellant, hung in bunches in houses, or burned to drive out infestations of fleas. The foliage is grey-green and downy and the flowers form a valuable source of late summer nectar for many species of butterfly, being the primary nectar source for the Small Copper. Conditions: In the south a supposedly dry day was actually infiltrated by heavy showers and lovely, late rainbows. Temperature: Max 17- Min 12c.

Common Fleabane

Common Fleabane

Common Fleabane in a damp corner of a field

Common Fleabane in a damp corner of a field

This wild member of the daisy family is as dramatic as any garden flower

This wild member of the daisy family is as dramatic as any garden flower

Fleabane, flowering in late summer, is a good source of nectar.

Fleabane, flowering in late summer, is a good source of nectar.

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