Nyjer Guizotia abyssinica flowering in December
Harry Green (2007) listed 10 plant species which he called “Bird Food Aliens” that had been recorded growing in his garden in Worcestershire. He speculated that “climate change may encourage some of these aliens to produce seeds and become regular residents”. That possibility has become a little more likely after finding a Nyjer plant flowering in my own garden (Aston Somerville, SP04723817) this (2011) autumn. Nyjer is one of the 10 species listed in the 2007 report. I have been providing Nyjer as bird food for a number of years but last year I set up a new feeding station in a more open area. Maybe the change of position increased the opportunity for germination and growth or perhaps the warm autumn also played its part. At the end of November the plant (80 cm tall) was in full flower (Figs. 1 & 2). The Met Office have recently confirmed that this has been the warmest autumn on record. Nyjer is native to Ethiopia but is grown commercially in many parts of the world.
Green, G.H. 2007. Bird Food Aliens. Worcestershire Record 21:47-48
Fig. 1. Nyjer flower photographed 18th November 2011.
Fig. 2. Nyjer plant in full flower photographed December 1st 2011.