If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

11 April, 2010

Goat Willow (Salex caprea)

Although the books call this Goat Willow I prefer its other common name Sallow! What has this tree got to do with goats?

These large yellow flowers are quite conspicuous now as, like the Blackthorn, the flowers come before the leaves.

This is a common tree which is just as well as the flowers are a major nectar source for our early insects, especially moths. In a cold spring easy to find nectar sources can be the difference between life and death for many insects.

When these are just buds they are known as pussy willow and are a silvery white colour. When the flowers fully emerge, however, the silver gives way to gold and they make a lovely sight.