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Common Fleabane: the original insect repellent?

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Common Fleabane: the original insect repellent?

You cannot go far in August without seeing this brilliant golden daisy, the common fleabane (Pulicaria dysenterica). It likes clay or damp soils and so you find it mainly along hedgerows and roadsides where there are ditches but it occurs just about anywhere the soil is heavy. It is also very successful in spreading and so, where it occurs, there is usually a lot of it.

As you might guess from its common name this plant was once used to deter fleas and other insects. I find that quite odd because actually  this member of daisy family is very popular with insects! Its open top flower suits larger insects like bees and hoverflies. The scientific name of dysenterica comes from the fact it was once considered a cure for dysentery. 

Common fleabane will flower throughout August and well in to September and its cheery face is always a welcome sight, even if it does mean that summer is well advanced and autumn is just around the corner.


 

If you would like to see the complete series that this post is part of click here ---->
This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 3 years 2 weeks ago

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