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May 2014

posted 8 Jun 2014, 09:07 by Jane Arnold   [ updated 8 Jun 2014, 09:20 ]
hawthorn

Anyone who has been on the green this last month, will know that the cattle have been turned on and are settling down well. Overall, I think the Green is looking beautiful at the moment with a wide variety of plants and trees in flower. One species that has been spectacular this year is the hawthorn, also known as the the May tree (because it flowers in May!). It is an important food source for caterpillers and moths as well as providing nectar for bees and other insects. The large amount of blossom this spring is good news for the birds, as there will be lots of berries for them in the Autumn.

holly flower

Now I am sure everyone is familiar with the bright red berries of the holly, which we use for our Christmas decorations, yet have you ever seen a holly flower? Probably not, as it is a very small inconspicuous white flower (see photo). We have some holly growing on the edge of the Green, and it took me a while to find a flower amongst all the leaves! Amazingly, holly trees only start flowering when they are about 20 years old. Holly is also interesting, as the trees can be either male or female (dioecious) and the flowers, whilst similar have different structures

orchid

A regular flower on the Green at the moment (and one of my favourites!) is the orchid. We have a couple of patches where the common spotted orchid are flowering quite well - so go and enjoy them! We sometimes have bee orchids, but to date I have not seen any - unless the cattle have eaten them!