GLOBEFLOWER

GLOBE FLOWER

Trollius europaeus

Buttercup Family [Ranunculaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug

status
statusZnative
 
flower
flower8yellow
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ5
(5-15)
type
typeZglobed
 
stem
stem8round
 
toxicity
toxicityZlowish
 

4th June 2016, Ullswater, Pooley Bridge, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Here, right on the shores of Ullswater, Globeflower likes damp places in woodland on upland areas. But Pooley Bridge is not exactly on the fells. Ullswater is about 146m above sea level, except in times of floods when it could be several metres higher! And it was indeed several metres higher just 6 months before these photos were taken. The ground where these were found growing would have been deep under rushing gushing water! Water velocities fast enough to wash away soil banks, tree roots, demolish robust ferry piers which had been rebuilt only half-a-dozen years earlier because of a similar flood-event but this time of sufficient ferocity to completely wash away a 250 year-old multi-arched stone road bridge (at Pooley Bridge).

All this was brought on by prolonged and torrential rainfall in the Lake District fells over several days in December 2015 which washed thousands of tons of pebbles and rocks up to 40cm across onto the shores of Ullswater particularly at Glenridding and Patterdale. Those deposits were still there when your Author visited, but now pulverised into smaller rocks and piled high by heavy machinery.



4th June 2016, Ullswater, Pooley Bridge, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Being perennials, your Author thinks that the Globeflowers must have been dormant in these two locations (each within 500 yards of Pooley Bridge) on the shores of Ullswater before the December floods.


4th June 2016, Ullswater, Pooley Bridge, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
They grow up to 70cm high. Lower leaves are large, palmate and deeply-cut into 3 or 5 lobes but with little space between the lobes, whilst leaves higher up are smaller, palmately-lobed, but with much more space between each lobe. [There is a Buttercup with two smaller flowers in this photo on the left, but all other yellow flowers are larger and belong to the Globeflower].


4th June 2016, Ullswater, Pooley Bridge, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Flowers mainly solitary on long hairless stems sparsely-leaved higher up. Some fruits still with stamens visible.


4th June 2016, Ullswater, Pooley Bridge, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The flowers are globed with 5 to 15 yellow sepals with little or no opening at the top.


4th June 2016, Ullswater, Pooley Bridge, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Flower yellow, which never opens. Upper leaves are deeply palmately lobed. All leaves lack stipules.


4th June 2016, Ullswater, Pooley Bridge, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The flower does have petals, but all the curved yellow objects here are actually sepals. The petals are hidden deep inside and are far thinner.


4th June 2016, Ullswater, Pooley Bridge, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
This specimen allows a small glimpse within of the yellow stamens and anthers.


4th June 2016, Ullswater, Pooley Bridge, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
All 5 to 15 petaloidal sepals curve upwards. There are no bracts. Despite its globular shape the flower is actinomorphic. Stem ribbed.


4th June 2016, Ullswater, Pooley Bridge, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
All petaloidal sepals have dropped off this flower revealing the innards: the real petals, which again number between 5 to 15 take the form of narrow small nectaries, here in pale green. There is an outer ring of longer stamens bearing long yellow anthers, and a spiral of shorter inner stamens with shorter anthers, here covered in cream-coloured pollen grains. Unseen at the centre is an ovary to become the fruit which takes the form of a follicle in Globeflower. Stem prominently ribbed near the flower-head.


4th June 2016, Ullswater, Pooley Bridge, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Progressing further towards being a (green at first) fruit.


4th June 2016, Ullswater, Pooley Bridge, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Basal leaves deeply cut and palmately lobed, with little space between lobes. A little like those of Meadow Crane's-bill.


4th June 2016, Ullswater, Pooley Bridge, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Basal leaves.


Not to be semantically confused with : Globe-thistles such as Blue Globe-Thistle (Echinops bannaticus)and Globe Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) [plants with similar name belonging to differing families]

Uniquely identifiable characteristics : It is the only yellow flower in the UK to take the form of a globe (although Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris) can also assume a globe conformation before the petals have unfolded, which they will).

Distinguishing Feature : The (usually) single yellow globed inflorescence atop long stems.

Despite its globular shape it is nevertheless classed as actinomorphic (star-like).

The outer visible parts of the flower are all sepals, which look like petals so are called petaloid sepals, all 5 to 15 of them. The real petals, of which there are another 5 to 15, are hidden within the globe visible only when the sepals have dropped off. These petals are long, narrow, and greenish.

Globeflower likes to grow in dampish pastures and gullies often in the hills, also within damp woods. It is native and occurs locally in Wales, North England, Scotland and North-west Ireland.


  Trollius europaeus  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Ranunculaceae  

Distribution
 family8Buttercup family8Ranunculaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Trollius
Trollius
(Globeflower)

GLOBEFLOWER

GLOBE FLOWER

Trollius europaeus

Buttercup Family [Ranunculaceae]