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Trollius europaeus

  • Name also: European Globeflower, Globe Flower, Globe-flower
  • Family: Buttercup Family – Ranunculaceae
  • Growing form: Perennial herb.
  • Height: 30–60 cm (12–25 in.). Stem unbranched, glabrous.
  • Flower: Perianth spherical, yellow, 2–4 cm (0.8–0.16 in.) wide. Petals 5–15, small, inside calyx leaves. Petal-like sepals approx. 15, concave, yellow. Stamens many. Gynoecium separate, with many pistils. Flowers solitary or as 2–3-flower cymes.
  • Leaves: Alternate, basal leaves long-stalked, stem leaves short-stalked–stalkless. Basal leaf blades roundish, usually deeply 5-lobed, lobes pinnatifid–large-toothed. Stem leaf blades smaller and with narrower lobes.
  • Fruit: Dark brown, creased, keel-backed, sharp-pointed follicle. Several follicles together.
  • Habitat: Broad-leaved forests, rich mixed swamps, springs, flood-influenced hedgerows, meadows, fell meadows and snow-bed sites. Also ornamental and an escape from cultivation.
  • Flowering time: May–July.

Globeflower grows especially on Lappish meadows, broad-leaved forests and rich swamps. It is common on fell meadows and has also spread to young man-made meadows. Despite its reputation as a northern species, globeflower also grows in the south. Most broad-leaved forests in southern Finland are too dark for it to thrive, but it can even grow abundantly in some rich habitats in southern parts of Häme and Savo.

The first globeflowers flower in May, but in the northern tundra flowers can be found as late as August. Globeflower’s flower has quite a primitive structure: it has many tepals, which are alternate, and they virtually close the spherical flower so that pollinators have difficulties reaching the nectariferous petals. Globeflowers attracts a lot of flies, beetles and burrowing bees, but its most important pollinator is probably the small globeflower fly (Chiastocheta). These hang around the flowers for days sometimes, and as they move from flower to flower they pollinate the plant. The fly has good reason to be thorough: it lays eggs in the pistil’s ovaries and the emerging caterpillars use the flower’s ripening follicles’ seed subject for nutrition. They do not however destroy all the seeds, so both the plant and the insect benefit.

Although globeflower is a well-liked ornamental in the flower bed, some Laplanders despised its habit of growing on waste ground in the 1982 vote for the flower to represent the province. Many had hoped that they would be represented by the cloudberry, but globeflower won the day.

Other species from the same family
Trees and bushes from the same family

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