I’ve made a conscious effort this year to improve my botany skills. That’s just a posher way of saying I’m endeavouring to put a name to some of the plants I see when I’m out looking for insects. A number of the people that have helped me with my various surveys are good botanists and so have got used to me pointing to a flower and asking ‘What’s this?’.
At the weekend while out counting bees on Salisbury Plain we spotted this rather unusual looking wildflower which I was informed is called Blue Fleabane Erigeron acris (formerly Erigeron acer). I was struck by its unusual and delicate pale lilac and yellow flowers. Apparently it’s a member of the Daisy family, Asteraceae. It’s a herb thought to be helpful in treating tooth-ache and arthritic pains.