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Thale Cress

Saturday, 14th September 2002, West Yorkshire

thale cressThis delicate looking weed had sprung up from a crack at the edge of the driveway. It's put most of its energy into producing all those seedpods - a little seed factory. Thale cress can produce a crop of seeds just four weeks after germinating.

The minute white flowers were closed as I drew it but they're evidently the standard four-petalled, cross-shaped crucifer design of flower.

The root system doesn't amount to much. The basal rosette of leaves has been nibbled, perhaps by slugs.

As I drew it those long thin seedpods led me guess that it was shepherd's needle. That plant also has similar shaped seedpods but it is a member of the umbellifer family.

Thale cress, Arabidopsis thaliana, was named after the German physician Johann Thal (154283). A weed of cultivated ground, hedges and walls it is also known as Common Wall Cress. It flowers in spring and autumn.next page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

E-mail; 'richard@willowisland.co.uk'