Photo of Bluebell Woods in Sussex Photo of Bluebell Woods in Sussex

Weld Heliotropism

The Sunflower (helianthus annuus) is famous for its ability to track the sun over the course of a day.

A less well known, but quite abundant plant, called, ‘Weld’ (Reseda Luteola) also displays this ability. It is an effect known as ‘heliotropism’.

Weld thrives in ex-industrial areas, in disturbed ground (it loves old bomb craters) and by roadsides, as in this picture. It has been used historically as the source of a bright yellow dye. It is also very useful for natural navigators.

In this picture, which I took outside the wonderful Welsh Food Centre last week, we are looking East; the weld is curved towards the south.