August flowers

I don’t know about where you are but around us it’s been a dreary old August, not much warmth but plenty of dark grey clouds and rain. Everything is looking very battered and I don’t think my tomatoes are ever going to ripen. Green tomato chutney anyone?

Here is a page from the August section of Margaret Erskine Wilson’s book, Wildflowers of Britain Month by Month, showing Rosebay Willowherb. The wildflowers are struggling in all this dampness. Down by the river there is the odd spear of purple loosestrife, rosebay, and knapweed amongst the grasses and hogweed seedheads. Everything is brown and bedraggled.

My rudbeckia purpurea has done well however and one morning we spotted this crazy spider sitting pretty in one of the flowers (turn away now if you’re not a spider fan!). It’s a white crab spider, and this one must be a female because she is BIG and has two pink lines down either side. Crab spiders don’t weave webs but ambush their prey by leaping out and grabbing them with their strong front legs (hence the name). They then stun their prey with a paralysing agent before wolfing them down. Normally they like to camouflage themselves by sitting on a flower of a similar colour to really take their prey by surprise. It’s even thought that they can change colour to match their surroundings. Not this one though, she’s one tough cookie, brazenly sitting on a big pink flower in all her pearly glory. What a beauty.

white, crab, spider


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2 Responses to August flowers

  1. Evy Browning says:

    What a joy – she’s very striking & thank you for all the info, I’m hopeless with flowers & insects but long to get some plants in the ground to attract butterflies. I’ve never had a rudbeckia, but maybe……

    • Hannah says:

      The rudbeckia take a bit of patience Evy but are definitely worth it. They’ve been covered in bees and butterflies this summer.

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