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.

1 Comment

  1. maireekenna says:

    Ed, Have looked at your article on the GM flora Arabidopsis thaliana and last week the piss the bed and I am very glad to see how happy you are in giving us this in formation while I spend a lot of my time trying to get rid of both of these, and many many more from my garden.

    Keep up the good work. See you at the next Course Meeting.

    Regards Mairee

Leave a Reply