If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

About Me

My photo

I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

13 October, 2015

Thale Cress: the gutter cress

Living on a development of bungalows build back in the 1960's our roads do not get much attention from the local council. That is not a complaint, I am actually quite pleased as we get all manner of wild flowers growing in the gutters and along the pavements and walls! I had never seen thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) until we moved here back in 2006 but it is quite common around our local roads.
Although quite a common weed of cultivation it does not generally occur on lime soils and much of the cultivated fields of Dorset and Hampshire are on the chalk downs. I am sure that is one of the reasons I missed it previously but there is another reason I suspect. Thale cress is a small, frail plant with just a few tiny four-petalled flowers at the top of the stem, easily overlooked in a field but less so in a roadside gutter.
The amazing thing about thale cress is that despite its very small flowers they create long, thin, cylindrical seed pods which point upwards. This distinguishes it at once from the similar shepherd's purse whose fruits are very different.
Thale cress is now used

Read more: Thale Cress: the gutter cress