Skip to content

Weeds and insects of York Way – a bit of South America…?

11 July 2011

This rather curious plant is an introduction, from the family Asteraceae, daisies.  it is a Galinsoga parviflora, and was apparently brought to Kew in 1796 (Wikipedia). It is classed as a weed and having escaped has spread around the world.  It is found in many countries now including Australia and New Zealand, and it reached China in 1915.  The leaves are edible and in Colombia it is used as an ingredient of Ajiaco potato soup.  Wikipedia says the juice of the leaves helps blood coagulate and has antibacterial properties.  In India it is used to treat diarrhoea and it has been shown to work in mice as an antidiarrhoeal agent –  http://tinyurl.com/6ccfkw8  It is such an anonymous looking thing but in China (and elsewhere) is invasive http://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTOTAL-YYHS200805006.htm

Galinsoga parviflora

I spotted this one – or rather its ancestors, some years ago along a factory entrance in York Way, but I have never noticed it elsewhere, though it is rather easy to overlook.

I had to walk carefully on the way home as the air was full of flying ants (Lasius niger) today.  This time of year there are mass exoduses of males and females who mate then the females set up house somewhere.

Male

As you see the male is quite small in comparison with the female, but as with many flying insects it has big eyes.  The better to spot the females.  The males are merely there for the fertilisation, and will be dead kin a day or two. An ant blog http://www.antblog.co.uk/species/lasiusniger.htm

Click pic to enlarge…

Female

Male and worker

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: