Geranium molle, the Dove's foot cranebill

Geranium molle, the Dove’s foot cranebill, was collected for the Darwin Tree of Life project on the 9th of May 2022 by Dr Markus Ruhsam, on the verge of a road that passes over a golf course. East Lothian has some of the oldest links golf courses along its sandy coastlines; this specimen was collected at Luffness New golf course, which was developed on the old Luffness Estate in 1894. While the fairways and greens are manicured spaces, the areas of rough that surround the holes can be important havens for biodiversity.

Luffness New Golf Club, East Lothian: Scotland's Golf Coast

Luffness New Golf Club, East Lothian: Scotland’s Golf Coast

Geranium molle is a fast-growing plant, often found in gardens, where it is either loved or loathed: on the one hand, it is an early food-source for bees and other pollinators and, in the south, is a host for the caterpillar of the Brown Argus butterfly; on the other, it has a weedy habit and can spread quickly though a garden, with an explosive seed dispersal mechanism that flings the seeds out of its seed pods into new sites across flowerbeds and lawns.

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The Twelve Days of DToL