In the Garden in Early March

In the polytunnel where the weeds are still rife, there is a rust on some young willowherb plants. The plants are almost certainly Epilobium obscurum (Short-fruited Willowherb), though I cannot rule out hybrids at this stage, and the rust is Pucciniastrum epilobii. The presence of uredina on both sides of the leaf and the fact that they are small (c. 0.25 mm) distinguishes it from the other candidate, Puccinia pulverulenta.

Rust on Willowherb

Meanwhile, the insects are stirring. I had a male Pale Brindled Beauty a couple of days ago (the females are wingless) and this attractive chironomid (non-biting) midge was on the house. It is probably a Metriocnemus sp. but that is as far as it goes.

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