Rosebay Willowherb….and Friends

A weed or a Wild Flower……?


Rosebay Willowherb is now in full flower. Hated by many because it is so successful but loved many others, including me, as a Wild Flower of summer. Tall red spikes on top of bright green steams produce pink flower heads in profusion. Loved by bees and other insects as a nectar source.

To me its prolific nature and its ability to thrive where the only other vegetation is nettles and thistle is one of the attractions and benefits. All three are fantastic feeding stations for Butterflies, Bees, Moths and many other insects…..a good number of Butterflies lay there eggs on the Nettles which provides food for both caterpillars and of course the Butterflies….Friend or foe here are a few portraits of Rosebay and friends spotted on todays walk…

17th July

(C) David Oakes 2015


7 thoughts on “Rosebay Willowherb….and Friends

  1. This had a wonderful memory for me. In the 80’s, my sister and her husband went on holiday to the Yorkshire Dales. In 1982 I went for the very first time with my sister and we walked the walks Muker-Gunnerside and Gunnerside Gill and obviously we passed Gunnerside Beck. It banks were full of Willowherb, but neither of us knew the real name. My sister told me that her husband named it. He called it heather. Which, of couse is a quite different plant. :). But the name stuck. We call Willowherb since 1982 by this name: Hans’s Heather. To me, Willowherb has become a quintessential part of the Yorkshire Dales. Even though we do know the correct name (which is lovely). Consequentially, we love Willowherb since then. 🙂

    The butterfly is another favourite of mine. Or is it a moth?

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