Thursday, July 27, 2006

Ragwort in the heatwave

In the hottest part of the day the leaves on the ragwort Senecio jacobaea in The Metre all turn upside down, exposing the somewhat silvery underside to the sunshine and presumably thus reducing water loss.

It is remarkable that they do not simply wilt but actually manage to turn through 180 degrees. This indicates there is some mechanism within the leaf stalk that twists one way or another as the temperature rises.

There was a little rain this evening, but it scarcely wet the ground. However, most of the plants do not seem particularly stressed yet.

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