SMOOTH LADY'S-MANTLE

HAIRLESS LADY'S-MANTLE

Alchemilla glabra

Rose Family [Rosaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8green
flower
flower8yellow
inner
inner8yellow
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ4
stem
stem8round

4th & 8th July 2017, Grin Low, Buxton, White Peaks. Photo: © RWD
The alternative vernacular name 'Hairless Lady's-Mantle' (and the specific epithet glabra) are misnomers; it does actually have a few hairs, but only in certain places and even then not so many of them. It is a 'large' Lady's-Mantle, with stems up to 60cm (occasionally up to 80cm) and with leaves 7cm across (occasionally up to 10cm).


4th & 8th July 2017, Grin Low, Buxton, White Peaks. Photo: © RWD
The number of lobes on the leaves varies from 7 to 9, occasionally up to 11. The lobes are either rounded or triangular. The leaf lobes are toothed right down to the notch between the lobes.


4th & 8th July 2017, Grin Low, Buxton, White Peaks. Photo: © RWD
The stems are hairless and smooth (apart perhaps from just around the 1st or 2nd nodes from the bottom). Flowers greenish-yellow (as are most Lady's-Mantles).


4th & 8th July 2017, Grin Low, Buxton, White Peaks. Photo: © RWD


4th & 8th July 2017, Grin Low, Buxton, White Peaks. Photo: © RWD
The sepal tube is trumpet shaped.


4th & 8th July 2017, Grin Low, Buxton, White Peaks. Photo: © RWD
The flowers are bisexual with both 4 stamens and a carpel. The 4 yellow-green sepals are about as long but narrower than the concolorous 4 petals.


4th & 8th July 2017, Grin Low, Buxton, White Peaks. Photo: © RWD
This specimen must have been under stress (either heat-stress or water-stress) because it has turned reddish and orange-pink as were all of the numerous Smooth Lady's-Mantles on the lime waste tips north of Solomons Temple.


4th & 8th July 2017, Grin Low, Buxton, White Peaks. Photo: © RWD


4th & 8th July 2017, Grin Low, Buxton, White Peaks. Photo: © RWD
A stressed-out flower. 4 pointed petals and 4 narrower pointed sepals.


4th & 8th July 2017, Grin Low, Buxton, White Peaks. Photo: © RWD
The leaf teeth are larger mid-way between the extremity of each lobe and the notch between each lobe. The teeth are also in-curved, the tip being pointed and often purplish.


4th & 8th July 2017, Grin Low, Buxton, White Peaks. Photo: © RWD


4th & 8th July 2017, Grin Low, Buxton, White Peaks. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are reminiscent of a hand-held fan - creased up in a zig-zag pattern.


4th & 8th July 2017, Grin Low, Buxton, White Peaks. Photo: © RWD
Close inspection of the tips of the teeth reveals that they are constructed out of several hairs clumped together, and sometimes separated from each other. Also, the leaves are not entirely free of hairs; there are just a few on the upper surface of the leaf whilst on the under-surface are confined to the veins (not seen in this photo), but even then, not many.


Easily mistaken for other Lady's-Mantles which also have curved teeth: such as Clustered Lady's-Mantle (Alchemilla glomerulans) but this has 13-19 teeth on each of the usually 9 leaf lobes and with Rock Lady's-Mantle (Alchemilla wichurae) but this has 15-19 more-strongly incurved teeth on each of the usually 7-11 leaf lobes (whereas Smooth Ladie's-Mantle has 11-19 teeth on each of 7-9 (up to 11) leaf lobes). But these two species are a quite rare [RR], whereas Smooth Lady's-Mantle is almost ubiquitous north of Staffordshire. Also, the first two rarer Lady's-Mantles have never been reported further south than about 40 miles north of here.

As a Lady's-Mantle it has uniquely identifiable characteristics, but which one out of the hundreds of apomicts...

Lady's-Mantles are apomictic producing dozens of very similar hybrid species (as are Brambles (Rubus, Hawkweeds (Hieracium), Rowans & Whitebeams (Sorbus), Dandelions (Taraxacum) and Meadow-grasses (Poa) which all have hundreds of species. All these genera are apomictic (or agamospermic - asexual reproduction via seeds), capable of the production of viable seeds without self-fertilization or cross-fertilization and are entirely female in origin. Plants growing from these seeds are clones. This process results in a wide spectrum of hybrid microspecies, most looking very similar. All or most species of Lady's-Mantles are hybrids which reproduce asexually - only a handful reproduce by sexual means.

Thus, it is not known whether the above plants are all true, they are probably not, but they look more like Smooth Lady's-Mantle than they do any of the other 14 Lady's-Mantles which are detailed as species within the tome 'New Flora of the British Isles' by Clive Stace.

It is native and grows almost over the whole UK north of Staffordshire.


  Alchemilla glabra  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Rosaceae  

Distribution
 family8Rose family8Rosaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Alchemilla
Alchemilla
(Lady's-Mantles)

SMOOTH LADY'S-MANTLE

HAIRLESS LADY'S-MANTLE

Alchemilla glabra

Rose Family [Rosaceae]