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  • Writer's pictureWildlife Friendly Otley


Little alien antenna are popping up under the hedgerows along the river and in Gallows Hill. These short stalks of bright red berries are unusual indeed, the plant also known as Cuckoo Pint, Adam and Eve, Wild Arum, as well as many other names flowers early in the Spring. Above the male flower is a ring of hairs that act as an insect trap, the flower emits a faecal odour and maintains a temperature of 15°C warmer than the surrounding environment which proves irresistible to insects, especially midges. When they enter the flower, the hairs trap the midges until the flower dusts the insect with pollen, the next day they are released to carry the pollen to female flowers and pollinate them. The female flowers have now formed the cluster of red berries which may look enticing but are extremely poisonous to us, so please enjoy looking at them but do not touch them!

By River Six


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