WILD MIGNONETTE

Reseda lutea

Mignonette Family [Resedaceae]  

month8May month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8Aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8green
morph
morph8zygo
petals
petalsZ6
petals
petalsZcleft petalsZcut
type
typeZclustered
type
typeZspiked
stem
stem8round

29th June 2014, ex-sand-pit, Marshside, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
A short plant, much shorter than the otherwise similar Weld, up to 50cm tall.


9th Aug 2014, shoreline, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD


22nd June 2007, Waste Lands, Salford, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Like small toy rockets ready to launch. The flowers are much bushier around the stem in comparison to those of Weld. Unlike the stems of Weld, those of Wild Mignonette do not multiply-branch along their length.


22nd June 2007, Waste Lands, Salford, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Flowers are creamy green and clustered together on the upper half of the stem. Flowers on short 2cm stalks, nodding slightly downwards. The flowering spike is wider by perhaps a factor of 2 or 3 over and above that of the similar Weld.


22nd June 2007, Waste Lands, Salford, Manchester. Photo: © RWD


29th May 2010, Hodbarrow, Millom, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Several off-white petals, two of them in pairs separated by a very thin petal, loom upwards mainly at the top of each flower.


29th May 2010, Hodbarrow, Millom, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Main lime-green stem ridged; flower stalks angular. Six very narrow green sepals cup the flower behind. A cluster of anthers with greeny cream pollen droop downwards.


11th June 2009, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The summit of the plant has longish brown protrusions sticking up.


11th June 2009, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Several deeply cleft off-white petals sprout from the edge of a white-fringed lime-green disc, whilst numerous stamens with light-greeny cream anthers dangle from the disc.


2nd July 2011, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
A cherry-picked flower where you can more clearly see most of the details: A couple of bunny-eared petals at the top, heavily cleft in two's, with a thin sliver of a shorter sepal showing right between each of the pairs. A couple more white petals around each side, the topmost one being wider than the other. A dozen or more stamens with cream-coloured anthers dangling down like a shower-head. Right in the centre a three-lobed pale-green stigma.


2nd July 2011, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Right in the centre the pale-green three-lobed stigma.


2nd July 2011, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Several more thin sepals can be seen lurking behind the flower. The pale-green stigma is noticeably in 3 lobes. The main stem is ribbed/ridged/grooved (whichever is your fancy for today).


11th June 2009, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The fruits are longish lime-green cylinders at first with a triangular bulbous termination which has three pedestals arranged in an equilateral triangle on top.


7th June 2014, ex-sand-pit, Marshside, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The ragged remnants of the petals still attached around the waist of the developing fruits.


29th June 2014, ex-sand-pit, Marshside, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
No flowers left, the stem lengthens further and the fruits extend lengthways as they ripen to a muddy orange colour.


29th June 2014, ex-sand-pit, Marshside, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The roughly cylindrical fruits have a knobbly appearance with small warts and an opening at the top.


29th June 2014, ex-sand-pit, Marshside, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The sepals still hang on below the fruits.


29th June 2014, ex-sand-pit, Marshside, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The fruits have a rolled-over edge at the top which forms a triangular opening, a similar opening to that of the fruits of Weld. There is a slight bobble at the vertex of each triangular opening.


22nd June 2007, Waste Lands, Salford, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Leaves are narrow linear, and highly crinkled, reminiscent of 'V'-shaped aluminium tent pegs that have been repeatedly bent in different places and partially-successful attempts have been made at straightening them by hand.


22nd June 2007, Waste Lands, Salford, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
The deep mid-green leaves have fine 'junior-hacksaw'-type teeth on the edges. The leaves (unlike those of the similar Weld plant - which is in the same genus) have long narrow lobes at more-or-less at right-angles emerging at random places.


Easily confused with : Weld which is in the same Genus but Wild Mignonette is much shorter, and also wider in proportion and without branches. The fruits also differ in several ways.

Some similarities to Musk Orchid - the flowers of both are pale cream with pointed fingers. Both are similar heights, but the leaves are totally different; the basal leaves of Musk Orchid being broad and tapering to a point.

It is a biennial and grows in clumps on well-drained mostly disturbed soils and is to be found on waste ground, road verges, embankment, grassland and old quarries. Most at home on calcareous soils. The flowers are hermaphroditic with male and female parts in the same flower and is self-fertile (but also pollinated by bees), producing a large number of seeds which can remain viable for decades and suddenly start growing when the ground is disturbed again. It was once used to produce a bright yellow dye, but its relative Weld (Reseda luteola) is the preferred source of this yellow flavonoid, Luteolin.


  Reseda lutea  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Resedaceae  

Distribution
family8Mignonette family8Resedacaea

 BSBI maps
genus8Reseda
Reseda
(Mignonettes)

WILD MIGNONETTE

Reseda lutea

Mignonette Family [Resedaceae]  

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