Midsummer brings us long days with warm nights, chirping crickets and lots of fresh fruit. For this phenological season we also want to have a closer look at a couple of species and are therefore counting on your help.
The phenological clock is ticking...
The flowering of the large-leaved lime (Link!) marks the beginning of summer. It is easily confused with the small-leaved lime. The best distinguishing feature is the leaf hairiness: the large-leaved lime has small white hairs at least on the underside of the leaf and on the shoots, while the small-leaved lime has hairs only on the nerves and in the nerve angles of the underside of the leaf. The flowers of the lime tree are used in teas and their sweet nectar is an important food source for many insects. Please make an observation of a flowering summer lime tree.
In Germany, tansy is widely common and grows especially well on ruderal wastelands, roadsides or river banks. The leaves of tansy contain many chemical ingredients that can be toxic in certain quantities. Therefore, it is avoided by most grazing animals. Many insects, on the other hand, find it useful as a habitat or food.
The Indian Balsam is an invasive plant that grows mainly along shady river banks and in humid forests. Thus the phenological observation of this species also serves as an inventory of where this species has already settled. The spurred, whitish to deep pink flowers are unmistakable and their intense scent advertises their presence from afar. The seed capsules burst open as soon as they are ripe and can catapult their seeds over metres. This form of seed distribution is called ballochory and allows the species to spread rapidly.
Common ragwort has spread strongly in Germany in recent decades. It grows well on dry meadows and along roadsides. Especially horse owners fear this species as horses can get fatally ill from eating ragwort. It is also no friend of beekeepers, since honey can become poisonous through a large amount of common ragwort pollen.