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  • Writer's pictureWildlife Friendly Otley

cow parsley

A familiar frothy flower (try saying that a few times) has begun to bloom. Whilst out on my daily walk along the river, looking out for kingfishers actually, I spotted my first umbels (umbrella-like clusters of flowers) of cow parsley instead. At this time of year there’s always something new to find on every walk, so I may not have seen the kingfisher today but I have seen another sign of the year moving on. Cow parsley is a hollow-stemmed, tall plant that grows rapidly in the summer before dying back, whilst in flower it is an important nectar source for bees, hoverflies and orange tip butterflies. It is also a food plant for the moth Agonopterix heracliana and a nectar source for orange-tip butterflies.

DO NOT EAT THIS PLANT Whilst edible, cow parsley is often confused with the poisonous Hemlock, so best to leave it to the insects.

By River Six Photo by Pixabay


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