Great Willowherb, the Roundhouse and Sun Rising Hill

Pink, Gold and Green

Great willowherb (Epilobium hirsutum) is one of those wayside and ruderal plants that many don’t even notice.  From late July and into August in this part of the world it lines the country lanes, especially where ditches retain water through the summer.  You can see it too around ponds, where it is a favourite of moths like the elephant hawkmoth, and butterflies land to find its nectar.

At a time when the long grasses are drying, the fields are gold with wheat or barley, the hay meadows mown to straw stubble, the great willowherb offers a beautiful brightness.  With hedgerows and woodland now a dark green, the colours are even more exquisite.

Great Willowherb, the Roundhouse and Sun Rising Hill

Great Willowherb, the Roundhouse and Sun Rising Hill

Over the next few weeks, when the weather allows, we shall be mowing the wildflower meadow and burial areas.  Where we can, we’ll be leaving plants that are still in flower – such as the willowherb, the field scabious, devil’s bit scabious, the musk mallow and cranesbill.  The last pinks of the wild summer are precious …