18th August 2016

IMG_8393The Bumble Bee's long tongue reaches in for nectar

The long tongue of the Bumble Bee reaches the nectar

Teasels and BeesTeasel-heads contain hundreds of flowers which emerge over time in rings up and down the head. The whole plant- stem, leaves and all- is spiky! A brilliant provider of nectar and pollen for different bees and insects, the seeds are taken by Goldfinches in autumn– though only the male has a long enough bill to reach the seeds. I love having Teasels in the garden, though they do seed around. This is the first time I’ve noticed how, once the tiny flowers are older and have given all the food they can, the action of the bee feeding pulls the flower out altogether, or maybe it deliberately pulls them out once redundant, I don’t know. Conditions: Sunny spells. Temperature: Max 23- Min 14C

As the Bee feeds the older flowers are either pulled out deliberately or dislodged once they are empty of food

As the Bee feeds the older flowers are either pulled out deliberately or dislodged once they are empty of food

As the flowers are removed the amazing structure of the seed head is revealed

As the flowers are removed the amazing structure of the seed head is revealed

All parts of the architectural Teasel are spiky

All parts of the architectural Teasel are spiky

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14th December 2015

Teasels in winter-Though they spread themselves a bit liberally around the garden, they are both beautiful in winter and a source of seeds for Goldfinches. Apparently though, only for male Goldfinches. It is hard to tell males from females but only males have long enough beaks to extract seeds from Teasels, so these must be male. Clearly, not all the seeds get scattered or eaten as we saw recently, with these seeds apparently germinating in the seed-head itself, probably due to the mild winter. Conditions: A spell of cloudy, still weather Temperature: Max 8- Min 7c.p.birds.12 024IMG_4934

Male Goldfinch on Teasel

Male Goldfinch on Teasel

Teasel head germinating its own seeds

Teasel head germinating its own seeds