WELD

DYERS ROCKET

Reseda luteola

Mignonette Family [Resedaceae]  

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8Aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZarchaeophyte
flower
flower8cream
inner
inner8green
morph
morph8zygo
petals
petalsZ4
type
typeZclustered
type
typeZspiked
stem
stem8round

1st Aug 2004, Bombsite, Central Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Grows on waste ground up to 6 or 8 feet tall - much taller than Wild Mignonette, although most specimens are about 5 feet high. Lonh narrow sinuous stems which are normally highly contorted covered in a long inflorescence over most of their upper length, the lower length is covered in long narrow leaves.


26th Aug 2002, River Mersey, Stockport. Photo: © RWD
Likely to be found in industrial areas - it was grown for the green dye it yields. Never seems to grow straight up, but bends and twists in graceful curves. This is most likely due to its ability to follow the sun which it does even when the sun is behind clouds! The stem is covered in flowers or green seeds all along its upper length. the lower part of the stem bears the leaves. Unlike the stems of the otherwise similar Wild Mignonette, those of Weld are multiply branched along their considerable length.


1st Aug 2004, Bombsite, Central Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Young plants are low with long snaking stems covered in small creamy white flowers coming to a point at the tip.


1st July 2005, River Esk, Eskdale Valley. Photo: © RWD
The flowers hug the stem much closer than do those of the related Wild Mignonette. The tips all bent facing the direction of the sun (behind clouds).


7th July 2005, Frodsham Marsh, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
Seems to like growing in marshy ground but avoiding canals.


22nd June 2007, Bridgewater Canal, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Flowers in a raceme on short stalks held close to the stem.


22nd June 2007, Bridgewater Canal, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
The flowers are atypical. There is an upper deeply lobed four or five fingered whitish cowl. Below this is a double ring of creamy yellow anthers, within which are nestled three green bodies.


22nd June 2007, Bridgewater Canal, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
A few green sepals support the lower half of the flower. The main stem is slightly fluted.


6th Aug 2009, Dyserth, Prestatyn, N. Wales. Photo: © RWD
The six green petals and ribbed stem clearly visible.


10th Sept 2007, Plank Lane, Leigh, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD


4th Aug 2014, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Lime-green at first the fruits turn a pale semi-translucent orange.


4th Aug 2014, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Each flower later grows three pseudo-spherical fruits apparently welded between three green pointed structures. Perhaps this is how it obtained its common name.


4th Aug 2014, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The spherical fruits are covered in small round pimples like golf-balls (un-like the deeper orange fruits of Wild Mignonette which are cylindrical).


1st Aug 2004, WWII bombsite, Northern Quarter, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
The lower part of the upper stem has spent flowers, consisting of harder green and hollow receptacles now devoid (?) of fruits with a tri-star opening.


22nd June 2007, Bridgewater Canal, Manchester. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are darker green, shiny, narrow linear. Near the ground several flowering side-shoots are developing. The leaves (unlike those of the similar Wild Mignonette plant - which is in the same genus) are simple and without side-lobes.


Some flower books relate that Weld is alternatively called Dyers Greenwood, but most books report that Dyers Greenwood is Dyers Broom or Genista Tinctoria. Weld was indeed used commercially to yield a lemon yellow dye, just as Dyers Greenwood (Genista Tinctoria) was used to yield a green dye. and this is perhaps where the confusion has arisen. Weld grows at great speed to 6 feet tall, hence the synonym Dyers Rocket. A great many different flowers were used as dyes at one time.

Easily confused with : Wild Mignonette, but Weld is much taller, and also much more slender in relation to its height. there are other differences mentioned in the photo captions.

This plant was once grown commercially for the deep yellow dye luteolin, a flavonoid, which can be extracted, mostly from the seeds. This dye is a very stable pigment used for dying both wool and silk since ancient times. Luteolin in the human body acts as an anti-oxidant and is a moderator of the human immune system. Luteolin is also called Luteoline, Digitoflavone and Flacitran.

Weld also contains Apigenin another flavonoid and natural yellow dye.

Weld is heliotropic and follows the Sun around the horizon during the day, even when the Sun is behind clouds!


  Reseda luteola  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Resedaceae  

Distribution
family8Mignonette family8Resedaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Reseda
Reseda
(Mignonettes)

WELD

DYERS ROCKET

Reseda luteola

Mignonette Family [Resedaceae]  

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