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Rosebay Willow Herb


tozzin
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When I was a child every spring you could see Rosebay Willow Herb growing everywhere on spare land, bomb sites, at the side of railway lines etc, I think the last time I actually saw the plant was in the early sixties, since then they seem to have pulled up roots ( just a little pun there ) and disappeared, why? Has weed killer removed them all together from our city. Even though it was classed as a weed and it’s seed was blown to every points of the compass by the wind, it’s flowers were a joy to see, it was also known as Fireweed.

 

AF43E229-457F-4028-842A-98AE0E356E92.jpeg

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They do prefer disturbed land and wasteland, so I suppose there is little of that around these days. When I was a a small child on Ravenscroft Road, Stradbroke, in the early 60s the 'wreck' opposite had loads of this plant and had huge elephant hawk moth caterpillars feeding on them, which were like giant slugs and horrible to pick up! 

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There's still plenty of Rosebay willowherb around, but you need to wait till till July onwards to see it in flower.

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28 minutes ago, Alastair said:

There's still plenty of Rosebay willowherb around, but you need to wait till till July onwards to see it in flower.

I’ve waited for over forty years but never seen it in flower since my childhood, it was everywhere then and since around the early sixties nothing, only perhaps if I saw it from a train. I suppose the councils constant cutting and mowing before any seeds were set up where I now live never helped matters.

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I have a patch of disturbed land here on my farm in Devon which is always covered in RBWH every year. The gold finches come every winter and eat the seed heads from the dead stems.

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7 hours ago, John Russell said:

I have a patch of disturbed land here on my farm in Devon which is always covered in RBWH every year. The gold finches come every winter and eat the seed heads from the dead stems.

What a delightful scene you describe, I would die to see that.

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On 21/06/2021 at 11:56, tozzin said:

I’ve waited for over forty years but never seen it in flower since my childhood, it was everywhere then and since around the early sixties nothing, only perhaps if I saw it from a train. I suppose the councils constant cutting and mowing before any seeds were set up where I now live never helped matters.

Do you still live in Sheffield @tozzin? There is loads of Rosebay Willow Herb around Redmires Reservoirs.

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26 minutes ago, Stu_1981 said:

Do you still live in Sheffield @tozzin? There is loads of Rosebay Willow Herb around Redmires Reservoirs.

I do live in Sheffield but not for much longer, because of the council’s housing policy we are moving after living in our present home for fifty four years.

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6 minutes ago, SteveHB said:

RBwillow.jpg

 

A treat to see so many wildflowers, as a child I used to pull away the Comfrey flowers and taste the sweet nectar, has anyone else done that ?

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Just come up Gleadless Road from Heeley Green and in a front garden as I approached Daresbury Road I caught a glimpse of Rosebay Willowherb among Golden Rod, well that’s what I used to call it. 

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