Friday, 23 May 2008
The little ankle-grabbers
The burrs belong to the Rosaceae family so are related to raspberries, brambles, roses but these little guys are sneaky. They only grow to ankle height - just the right height to grab on to socks, a very worthy substitute for mammal fur for transporting seeds. The burr plants are common along walking tracks so at the end of a walk some time has to be spent sitting down to pull the seeds and burrs out of socks and trousers.
But under a microscope or hand lens the barbs are beautiful, and each of the four species has a distinctive barb shape and pattern. Take the time to have a closer look next time.