Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Common Whitlowgrass Re-visited

OK, so I've discussed this already - but I went back to the site (the concrete 'raft' on the river bank) a couple of days ago and was amazed by how many more plants had come into flower. Not only that but, in the bright sunshine, all of the flowers were fully open and displaying their characterstic, deeply-notched petals.

It may be my imagination but the plants also seemed to have a 'scent' - and not a very pleasant one. As I got down close to these tiny plants, in order to photograph them (again), I became aware of a faint odour - a bit like acrid, sweaty feet (I'm fairly certain that it wasn't anything to do with my feet!). I've forgotten a lot of my chemistry but I think that the smell may have been characteristic of certain fatty acids (Palmitic or Oleic ... possibly?). Anyway, it's probably a good thing that the plants aren't any bigger or everyone would be complaining about the pong!
Dave Bishop, March 2009

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