Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Gorse in winter

The bright yellow flowers of gorse make one of the few splashes of colour here at the moment, and raises the question of why bloom in winter when there can't be many, if any, insects around to fertilise the flowers. The answer seems to be that, when there are no insects, the gorse is capable of self-fertilisation, which is a pretty good strategy for having a prolonged flowering season. I've also seen it suggested that this is a good time to gather the flowers to make gorse wine or cordial, as you won't have to spend time trying to remove the tiny flies and beetles seeking the nectar inside the flowers!

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