Thale Cress

March 10th, 2012

Latin:  Arabidopsis thaliana

Irish:  Tailís


This diminutive plant with it’s very small white flowers is found in waste areas and at the edges of paths around the course.




It is a most unremarkable plant to look at but it has an immensely important worldwide role in scientific research.  The advancement of knowledge in plant genetics and the development of ultra-modern and controversial genetic modification (GM) technology is largely derived from research on this humble plant.


A native annual, it grows to about 30cm and bears small (3-4mm across) white flowers on long spindly stalks from March to October.  Being a member of the Cruciferous family, the flowers are 4-petalled (cruciform).  The seeds are borne in long, slightly curved, siliquae (cylindrical pod-like structures) which spread out from the stalks, arranged in pairs like fishbones.

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