What to look for in June in West Bay
What to look out for in June :
Our wildflower and wildlife post was so popular in May that it has encouraged us to show you what to look out for each month whether it is around West Bay or inland.
The Wildlife Trusts all around the country have been running their annual nature challenge, ’30 days Wild’ for a number of years in June. It’s not too late to join in and take part. As we have illustrated there is just so much to see and enjoy this month outdoors. #30dayswild #TheWildlifeTrust.
We love all the old nicknames so many wildflowers have if you know any we haven’t mentioned please share them with us!
Wild Mustard (Sinapis arvensis) it has clusters of yellow flowers, notice the top open flowers have four petals in the shape of a cross. The leaves when crushed smell strongly of mustard.
Jack-Go-To-Bed-At-Noon also known as Goat’s-beard and Shepherds Clock. It looks similar to a dandelion with yellow flowers however it flowers only open in the morning (hence the name).
Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus) found on the edges of ponds, streams and rivers the bright yellow flowers are easy to spot. The tall leaves are valuable for dragonfly larvae climbing out of the water to pupate.
A wildflower meadow supports a myriad of insects which in turn support many small animals and birds. Over 97% of wildflower meadows have been lost since the 1930’s. Flower species to look out for include meadow buttercup, red clover, wild grasses and in some locations purple orchids may be found.
Spear thistle (Cirsium vulgare) has purple fluffy looking flowers sitting on top of a spiny ball, there are many of these coming out along the old railway line between West Bay and Bridport -they will be quite a sight when they are all in flower.
Tall Creeping thistle (Cirsium arvense)– the most common form of thistle and found in pastures, roadsides, and waste ground. Its creeping roots create large colonies and the flowers attract bees and butterflies.
Bramble (Rubus fruticosus) better known for its juicy blackberries, the flowers are a food source for bees, the leaves are eaten by caterpillars and grazing animals.
Dog Rose (Rosa canina) the tall arching stems sprawl over hedges. The flowers are only faintly scented, and the petals vary in tint from white to deep pink.
Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclyenum) fragrant hedgerow climber which scents the air deliciously especially at night when they attract long-tongued moths. During the day small hoverflies may be seen removing pollen from the projecting stamens.
Common Mallow (Malva sylvestris) is a largespreading plant with deep pink striped flowers that appear from June to October popular with insects for its nectar.
Self-Heal (Prunella vulgaris) this low growing plant was used to cure ailments, the crushed leaves were used to dress skin wounds and the syrup made from the flowers was used to cure sore throats, hence the name!
Elder trees produce sweetly scented flowers appear in abundance in May or early June in woodlands and hedgerows. The flowers are used to make elderflower cordial, champagne, or gin.
Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) tall pink or sometimes white flowers found in shaded areas. The spots inside the flowers guide bumblebees to nectar at the bottom.
Ox-eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) growing on mass they look spectacular and are often seen on banks along the roadside at this time of year and alongside the coast path at West Cliff. The heads of them appear to glow in the evening so they are also known as Moon Daisy.
Birds foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) look for sprawling low growing yellow pea shaped flowers. The seed heads resemble a bird’s foot or Granny’s toenails and are popular with moth and butterflies. It is also called or eggs and bacon because of the orange in its flowers.
Hornet Mimic Hoverfly is the largest hoverfly species in the UK. As its name suggests it mimics the hornet but unlike the hornet it is harmless to humans.
We currently have a vacancy for a volunteer with wildlife knowledge to help us expand what they can offer. Not all the flowers below are coastal plants so you should be able to find them inland too.