Random Ramblings

Random Ramblings: Personal observations on a wide variety of subjects. Photographs of creatures and things that are taken on seeing the unusual as well as everyday things.

Digging for gold

One member of the daisy family that I have wanted in my garden for a very long time is Golden Rod. Now I have purchased a lovely plant and it has flowered for me in its first year in the garden. My Grandma who the family always lovingly referred to as Nan had one of these plants in her garden so it holds some lovely memories for me.

This particular variety is often known as Canadian Golden Rod or Solidago Canadensis and usually grows wild in North America and Canada but is a cottage garden plant in England. It is a member of the daisy family and if you look closely you will see hundreds or thousands of tiny bright golden daisies on every stem. It attracts pollinating insects who sip up its sugary nectar a tiny flower at a time. It’s a good plant to have in the garden to attract nectar feeding insects and below a Gatekeeper butterfly with a slightly damaged wing is feeding furiously on flower after flower. The versions that are often found in gardens today are small and stocky compared to those that sway about in the countryside.

Golden Rod, Daisy Rod, Golden Daisy, Solidago Canadensis, member of the daisy family Golden Rod - Solidago Canadensis with a Gatekeeper Butterfly in an English Garden

Golden Rod - a million golden daisies attracts flying pollinating insects - the Gatekeeper Butterfly  The Gagekeeper Butterfly rests after sucking up the nectar on a Golden Rod Daisy Plant A Gatekeeper sharing a Golden Rod flower head with a Green Bottle Fly or Blow Fly - Phaenicia sericata or Lucilia sericata

The bottom picture shows a Canadian Golden Rod plant (Solidago Canadensis) with both a Gatekeeper Butterfly sometimes called The Hedge Brown Butterfly (Pyronia tithonus) and a Green Bottle Fly or Blow Fly (Phaenicia sericata or Lucilia sericata)

What surprised me probably more than anything is that the common Green Bottle or Blow Fly often feasts on the nectar of the flowers so despite his bad name of eating up rotting flesh he also is essential for pollinating plants

Green Bottle - Blow Fly - Phaenicia sericata or Lucilia sericataGreen Bottle Fly or Blow Fly (Phaenicia sericata or Lucilia sericata) drinking nectar from the tiny daisy heads of a Canadian Golden Rod plant (Solidago Canadensis)

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