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Weld (Reseda luteola)


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Weld was once grown commercially but is now a plant of waysides and open ground, especially on chalk soil. The small yellow-green flowers have four sepals and four divided petals, the fruit is globular and upright with three pointed lobes. The seeds brown. The unpright hairless stems can reach 152cm. The leaves are oblong and wavy. Weld was one of three plants formally used for making dyes. Weld dye has been known from ancient times and was used throughout the Middle Ages. When crushed and soaked in water it produces a pure yellow colour that is fast in wools and other fabrics. It took 3-6lb of weld plants to colour 1lb of cloth. The plant is also heliotrophic i.e. it moves with the sun. In the morning the opening flowers face east and in the late afternoon west. Picture taken Stevington, Bedfordshire June 8th 2006.

9th Jun 2006 by Diane Earl

Biology, Science

Key Stages:
Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

plant flower wildlife

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