075The teasels around the Heart of Reeds are now beginning to flower. Teasels have long tough stems with spines and the rib of the leaf is also protected by spines. This helps to protect the plant again grazing animals. The head of the teasel plant is cone-shaped and this is where the flowers appear, the plant start to produce a ring of tiny purple flowers half way up the teasel.

031The small flowers attract a large number of bees, especially bumble bees, but also solitary bees as well as hoverflies. Later in the year the cone heads will contain many tiny black seeds providing an important food source for seed eating birds such as finches.

Following the recent rain, small pools of water have collected in the leaves around the stem. Insects that fall into these pools will drown and decompose and the plant will absorb the nutrients from these dead insects. Recent research has shown that while this extra food source does not seem to increase the size of the plants it does contribute to the plants health and may result in as much as 30% more seeds.