Buddleia shrubs are a favourite of local insects, butterflies being the most obvious when summer comes. They also grow easily and where there is one bush you’re likely to find many tiny offspring in pavement edges and plant pots. But the plant is apparently not edible or medicinally useful , a pity! It can be used to produce natural plant dyes. I’ve read some reports that rather than helping insects our even being particularly attractive to them, Buddleia may take over space from really beneficial plants. I’m not too sure about that as I recall many days, standing close to the plant and counting the butterflies on it. They appear to love it.
Another of my favourites is the humble Pansy. It can be used interchangeably with the herb Violet.
A stroll around my neighbourhood, led me to some very useful plants and a poisonous one, today…
Firstly, Annual Nettle (Urticaria urens). Full of nutrients, rather like it’s better known perennial sister but with less ferocious stings. If you are used to seeing Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) around town you may notice that this annual has more toothed leaf edges.
Next is a handsome, deep rooted Dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis agg.)
Then a strong, protective Ivy plant (Hedera helix) in full autumn insect feeding bloom.
Here is a lively patch of vitamin packed Chickweed (Stellaria media) making three most of a protective playground fence.
Here’s a tiny Hollyhock seedling, growing in a pavement crack.
I also liked the look of this decorative (and edible) Pansy (Viola tricolor).
And a lovely nutritious Mallow growing against the building where I live.
Lastly a striking plant which I’m quite sure is a poisonous nightshade. This one seems to be used as a decorative addition to pavement garden. I will try to find it’s name but think it is sometimes called Love Apple, Nicandra spp.