Wildflower Wednesday: Fox and Cubs
As promised last month, here's the latest wildflower addition I've found here at VP Gardens. We don't need to go far to see it because it's popped up at the edge of the front lawn, just a few feet away from our front door. There aren't that many orange wildflowers here in the UK in my experience*, so this time a simple Google of 'orange wildflower UK' came up with the instant answer. We're looking at Pilosella aurantiaca aka fox and cubs, the latter name is so much easier to remember! **
I guess it was only a matter of time before this plant arrived in my garden, as I've admired quite a few broad swathes of it on the grassed areas on our estate here in Chippenham. I now have a dilemma; whether to leave or not as it's invasive. The site linked to above has dire warnings about it, despite its attractive appearance:
"This attractive member of the daisy family makes a wonderful display in summer when it appears on roadside verges and banks, but do not be tempted to encourage this plant to grow in the garden: it is a tenacious weed that spreads and is very difficult to eradicate once it has got a hold."
The site goes on to say its ability to spread by seed, runners and rhizomes is why this plant is so successful and tenacious in its conquest of our land. It hails originally from the alpine regions of central and southern Europe and is another of our garden escapees after its introduction in the seventeenth century. The RHS adds it "... is visited by bees for nectar and pollen." That last comment adds to my dilemma.
I have a laissez faire track record as far as the front lawn is concerned. As you can see it's mainly creeping cinquefoil (Potentilla reptans), which is actively spread by runners. The RHS website also warns this one's invasive; I've found it's fairly easy to keep within the bounds of the lawn by weeding out the shallow rooted runners as and when needed. It certainly saves on lawn mowing and keeps a greener colour than grass during the summer months.
Whether the fox and cubs remains with it is yet to be seen...
* = I wrote about another orange wildflower find last year, Jewelweed.
** = it took me several attempts to get that latin name right while I wrote this blog post 😉
It's great to have another opportunity to join Gail's Wildflower Wednesday, having made so many new floral discoveries locally this year whilst under Lockdown. I missed seeing Gail and my other Fling pals from across the pond a few months ago due to our Covid-19 shenanigans, and the opportunity to join her with this post makes me feel much closer to her and the others somehow.