June 2019Hedge Mustard in the Leopold Meadows.

The Floral spirals which have been such a colourful feature of the park for several years are a bit different this year (2019).
The decision by BCC not to use glyphosate means that this year the flower seed was sown into the grassy areas directly; that is more of a challenge for some of the flowers, but not for the yellow-flowered Hedge Mustard, Sisymbrium officinale. It is a member of the brassica (or crucifer) family, is a sturdy plant which is the food plant for the caterpillars of three common UK butterflies, the Green-veined white, the Small white and the Orange Tip.
We have recorded the Green-veined white in the park; hopefully these plants will bring the others. http://friendsofstandrewspark.ning.com/photo/a-greenveined-white-butterfly
These caterpillars have also been recorded in the park when they are themselves the host of a small parasitic Braconid wasp.
http://friendsofstandrewspark.ning.com/photo/caterpillar-husk-with-cocoons-of-emerged-parasitic-wasps-attached
If you see any butterflies do take a picture and share it on the website.

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