Tuberaria guttata   Spotted Rock-rose RR DD N

Tuberaria guttata close Tuberaria guttata whole

This beautiful little annual flowers May to June and more rarely these days into July and has been adopted by Anglesey as its County Flower. It produces fresh blooms each day and on a hot day the petals have dropped by mid-afternoon without wind assistance. You can identify it in the vegetative seedling state by the bronzy coloured leaves each with three veins.

This plant is quite odd in another respect. Many years ago I found an uprooted, damaged seedling which I thought might be Tuberaria guttata so took it home in a damp handkerchief to intensive care. It survived, grew strong and was full of flower buds. It refused to flower but the seeds were produced anyway and I raised some daughter plants from these seeds which behaved the same way. So Tuberaria guttata can produce seeds even in bad years when there is no opportunity for flowers to blossom.

Such a plant is said to be Cleistogamous. Some violets do this continuing to produce seeds without obvious flowers preceding the production of capsules.

There were plenty of Tuberaria guttata plants in full flower in 2003 but many fewer in 2004 after a very dry Spring. In 2007 there was a good crop with slightly smaller flower heads and fewer per plant than in 2003 probably reflecting the long dry spells now prevalent in spring. Generally I find that the population at Porth Diana where it is more sheltered, has larger flowers than those on the cliffs at South Stack.

Tuberaria guttata seems to like island habitats. It grows on the Channel Islands and Jura but the highest concentration is on Anglesey. It also grows in various places in the west of Ireland.

Tuberaria guttata

Tuberaria guttata Spotted Rock-rose

Porth Diana, Trearddur Bay 5th June 2007

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Tuberaria guttata Spotted Rock-rose

LHS: Porth Diana, Trearddur Bay 31st May 2003 RHS: Trearddur Bay, Anglesey, 24th May 2007

Added on February 5th 2005 amended 24th May 2007, updated 18th February 2012

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