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

About Me

My photo

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!

10 November, 2015

Lucerne: an insectary plant

Much of the wild flora in our countryside occurs as a result of human intervention. Many flowers that we now deem to be 'wild flowers' were originally brought here to adorn our gardens but, through various means, they have escaped to become naturalised. Some are welcome, some not so. Over the years the range of crops humans have sewn and reaped for food or have grown as fodder for farm animals has changed. Once fashionable plants are no longer seen in our fields except where they have self seeded, avoided the sprays and successfully continued to prosper. Once such plant is lucerne (Medicago sativa). 
Lucerne is a member of the pea family, it is a clover. Once commonly grown as a fodder crop it still lingers in places. The flowers appear between June and September and vary in colour from violet to rich purple depending on the soil. It is a very popular flower with insects and is planted in some parts of the world to enhance insect activity and to aid pollination of other crops planted with it. It is, therefore, considered an insectary; a place where insects are reared.
Known in the United States as alfalfa, lucerne is

Read more: Lucerne: an insectary plant