Thursday, July 19, 2012
According to the meteorologists summer will be here soon - two months overdue but better late than never - and it will arrive just in time for harebells to look their best.
These are very variable plants. Some, growing in poor soil or even in crevices in walls, can be short and wiry. Others, growing in longer grass on more fertile soils, can be two feet tall and much more robust and it's the latter that look so exquisite growing amongst grass inflorescences in summer, bending and swaying in the waves that the wind creates as it blows across a sea of grasses.
These pictures were taken at Ryton Willows local nature reserve near Newburn, on the western edge of Newcastle, on a blustery day
Harebell flowers have quite a complicated pollination mechanism that ensures cross pollination. You can find pictures and explanations here.