Wasteland 7 – Seventh in a series of pictures of vegetation apparently growing naturally on wasteland and contributing to the biodiversity of the habitat on the side of Pipers Walk on the Waterfront in Swansea, South Wales, 19 June 2021.
The white fluffy seed heads look like smaller versions of the more familiar dandelion clocks so I am guessing that the plants are members of the Taraxacum Family. Unfortunately there are over 230 species, or rather forms and micro-species, within this group in Britain and they are not easy to identify, especially from a photograph, as the differences are small and nuanced. A good starting point would be the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland guide to identification if you have the time.
For the moment I am content to consider how the plants growing on wastelands can provide an important food source for wildlife such as bees. Twerd and Banaszak-Cibicka (2019) in their paper Wastelands: their attractiveness and importance for preserving the diversity of wild bees in urban areas conclude:
Although the environmental value of wastelands is appreciated more and more often (Fischer et al. 2016), so far they have been rarely intentionally used to support urban biodiversity. Undoubtedly proper planning of urban space should be based not only on designating urban wastelands for residential development but also on taking into account the benefits resulting from various types of land use, which fulfil various ecosystem functions. Urban wastelands are characterized by high variability, resulting from land use in the past, location in the landscape, and successional transformations. Our results show that some types of wastelands can be environmentally valuable spaces and should be cared for, very much like urban managed green areas.