late flowers for bees

I went to RSPB Fowlmere the other day and saw some of the late wildflowers in bloom. One of the best was this Irish ivy (Hedera hibernica) just blooming and providing the bees with nectar and pollen after so many other flowers have finished. I'm not sure if those yellow bits are pollen baskets or parts of the flower.

bee on irish ivy

Irish ivy with bee

irish ivy with bee

I think those are pollen baskets either side but not absolutely certain.

irish ivy with bee

the ivy shrub is huge and covered with flowers - and lots of bees

irish ivy

I love purple flowers and self-heal is one of my favourite. I'm attempting to grow some from seed, not sure the slugs are going to let me.


I also love thistles. I'm not sure what one this is. I'm most familiar with spear and creeping but I don't think it's one of those. I will research it.

thistle flower close-up

it wasn't that tall, unlike most other thistles I've seen, maybe 30 cm?


thistle buds

lesser burdock, not a thistle but very thistle-like

lesser burdock

lesser burdock

there was lots of lesser burdock at Fowlmere, in all stages of growth from new buds to completely dry plants with hooked dried seed heads

I love cattails, don't often have a chance to see them up close.


I have been calling this Joe-Pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum) but checking it, I think it's more correctly hemp-agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum). But I would quite like to know and understand the differences between them. Certainly lots of it at Fowlmere, at all stages, mostly fluffy spent flowerheads but also buds and flowers. Firstly, buds.


close-up of the buds with some just starting to open


close-up of the flowers fully open

flowers in full bloom and some starting to wilt


dry fluffy seed heads

hemp-agrimony seed heads

I'm putting this in the "unknowns" section of the Plant Identification page as this will need some research to establish exactly what it is.