LARGE VENUS's-LOOKING-GLASS

LARGE VENUSs LOOKING GLASS

Legousia speculum-veneris

Bellflower Family [Campanulaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug

status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8bicolour
flower
flower8purple
flower
flower8green
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
stem
stem8round

19th July 2004, Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
It is strikingly different from the smaller relative called Venuss Looking Glass which is in the same genus: the flowers are bright purple (rather than dark-purple or pale-purple) which at 15-20mm across are far larger (as opposed to Venuss Looking Glass flowers which are just 4-10mm across and usually closed unless it is sunny).

It usually has 5 petals but an errant 4-petalled one is in the frame.



19th July 2004, Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
The whorls of 5 green, thin and long linear 'leaves' radiating from a point are actually the 5 sepals Or calyx lobes of older flowers which have withered, leaving remnants of the central style exerted upwards. There are a few leaves of this plant in the photograph in the bottom right corner; they are narrower than those of Venuss Looking Glass and unstalked. All other leaves belong to differing plants.


19th July 2004, Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
With 5 bright purple, abbutting petals and a fairly large central throat that is paleish-green. There are 5 stamens and a central style with 3 stigmas at the end (although your Author fails to spot the stigmas here).


Not to be semantically confused with : Glassworts such as Common Glasswort (Salicornia europaea) [plants with similar names belonging to a differing family]

Slight resemblance to : Geraniums and Crane's-bills (Geranium) species, which also have 5 petals, some species of which are of similar colour.

It is an annual, possibly a Neophyte aka and Introduced and Naturalised species. It grows in arable fields in North Hampshire.

Your Author thinks it is the large-ish central pale-greenish spot that is responsible for its strange name of 'Venus's-looking-glass' for does it not resemble the Moon or Venus by reflection in a mirror? Other sources say that it is though to derive from the shiny mirror-like surfaces of the seeds.

Photos of seeds needed...


  Legousia speculum-veneris  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Campanulaceae  

Distribution
 family8Bellflower family8Campanulaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Legousia
Legousia
(Venus's-Looking-Glasses)

LARGE VENUS's-LOOKING-GLASS

LARGE VENUSs LOOKING GLASS

Legousia speculum-veneris

Bellflower Family [Campanulaceae]