Hogweed, Heracleum sphondylium, is familiar to all but the most urbanized of people. It flourishes on the grass verges beside roads, where the soil has been enriched by constant mulches of vegetation as 'weeds' are cut back. It is not surprising that this member of the Carrot Family, being so common, attracts a large number of insects. Thus we have the picture-winged fly, Euleia heraclei, a moth Agonopterix heracliana and the fungi Ramularia heraclei and Puccinia heraclei. There are dozens of other species, particularly among the diptera who, whilst not dependent on hogweed, habitually make use of it in various ways. Humans, oddly, seem to have found little value in the plant.
Hogweed in flower, Byfield Pocket Park. 30 October, 2019
Hogweed in close-up shows the zygomorphic (bilaterally symmetrical)
flowers characteristic of the Carrot Family.
Yarrow in flower on spare land adjacent to the burial ground. Byfield
Pocket Park, 30 October, 2019