Teasel: Embracing This Wildflower in Your Garden

Teasel: Embracing This Wildflower in Your Garden

In this edition of my wildlife adventures with an iPhone, the thought occurred to me (during a lunchtime stroll) that one person's wildflower is another person's weed.

Take the Teasel, for example, surely the jury has returned and unanimously given their verdict that the Teasel's off-putting prickles and spiny stem have it condemned to a life outside the garden space - somewhere where it's less likely to come into contact with we sensitive humans!? Or failing that, a neighbours garden! But not so fast, let's first hear the case for the defendant...

Action speaks louder than words so here's my wildlife video evidence of a bumblebee working overtime on the petite lavender-pink flowers that circumnavigate the egg-shaped head of the Teasel. If this isn't nature working in tandem I'm lost for words. This might be inadmissible; however, moments after I finished recording (my iPhone is out of memory space, again), the bee was joined by a jubilant Red Admiral and for several very entertaining seconds it looked like these two characters were hiding from each other.

The Teasel: good for bees, good for butterflies - good for gardens? 

OK. I admit it, they're a little frosty looking aren't they? They're the kind of plant its best to keep the grandchildren away from - but that's not how nature values the plant.
Even when the flowers disappear the Teasel has more to offer in the shape of seeds, which are favourites with Goldfinches (I'll try to film Goldfinches feeding on Teasle during a blustery autumn/winter day here on the NE coast of Lincolnshire. If I'm successful - which I highly doubt I will be - I'll show you how determined these beautiful birds are not to give up their dinning seat to other birds even when the wind is blowing the Teasle's close to 45 degrees).
Perhaps it will always be hard to make a case to purposely plant a Teasel in the wildlife garden - but I sincerely hope this video may make you think twice about removing it should one spring up seemingly from nowhere.

Until next week, enjoy nature

Simon King Haith's Director

Written by Simon King

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