WILD MIGNONETTE

Reseda lutea

Mignonette Family [Resedaceae]  

month8May month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8Aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8cream
inner
inner8green
morph
morph8zygo
petals
petalsZ6
petals
petalsZcleft petalsZcut
type
typeZclustered
type
typeZspiked
stem
stem8round
stem
stem8fluted
sex
sexZbisexual

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.


27th Aug 2015, bus stop, East Lancs Rd, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD


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. The two deeply cleft petals are at the top looking a bit like rabbit ears.


27th Aug 2015, bus stop, East Lancs Rd, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
With the 'rabbit-ear' white petals being here hidden away somewhere.
The 3-lobed ovary is not as dark green as shown here, surrounded by a profusion of cream-coloured anthers.


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 fruit containing 'cylinders' are longish and lime-green 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 fruit cases.


29th June 2014, ex-sand-pit, Marshside, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
No flowers left, the stem lengthens further and the fruit cases extend lengthways as the seeds within ripen.


29th June 2014, ex-sand-pit, Marshside, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The roughly cylindrical fruit cases have developed a knobbly appearance with small warts and the triangular opening at the top is becoming wider.


29th June 2014, ex-sand-pit, Marshside, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The long narrow sepals still hang on below the fruit cases. Main stems ribbed.


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


20th April 2019, coastal cliffs, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are very much more wavy-edged than those of the similar Weld (which is in the same Reseda family). The inflorescence is also very much shorter than that of Weld (at least until the stem expands as the seeds develop).


Photo: © RWD
The stems are either deeply-grooved (as here) or have rectangular ridges along them. Both stem and fruit cases may have transparent pimples on them. They might be a means of exuding any excess water?


Photo: © RWD
The stems have either rectangular ridges (as here) or are deeply-grooved. The highly-warped leaves are fairly thick and mealy.


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.


27th Aug 2015, bus stop, East Lancs Rd, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
With the 3-lobed ovary here being a darker green (your Author is not sure it was not pale-green in the flesh) it is easier to see, surrounded by a profusion of cream-coloured anthers.


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.

The petals are sometimes off-white (rather than pale-yellowish) and could be mistaken for White Mignonette, but that has 4 carpels (ovaries) in the middle (rather than the only 3 carpels of Wild Mignonette).

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.


USE BY BUTTERFLIES
LAYS EGGS ON CATERPILLAR CHRYSALIS BUTTERFLY
Small White
Large White
Bath White



  Reseda lutea  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Resedaceae  

Distribution
family8Mignonette family8Resedacaea
 BSBI maps
genus8Reseda
Reseda
(Mignonettes)

WILD MIGNONETTE

Reseda lutea

Mignonette Family [Resedaceae]  

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