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Moschatel: the town hall clock

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Moschatel: the town hall clock

Spring in deciduous woodlands, before the leaf canopy forms and darkens the woodland floor, is a time when the most flowering plants can be found in this habitat. Many only grow in such woodland and are often indicators that the wood itself has been continuously present on that site for many hundreds of years. One such flower is moschatel (Adoxa moschatellina), the only member of the adoxaceae family in the whole world.

Moschatel forms carpets of green, five lobed leaves. From amongst these leaves the flower stems rise up and at the top of each stem five small greenish yellow flowers form; one points upwards and the other four face outwards at right angles to each other like the four faces of a clock tower which is the origin of its familiar name, the town hall clock. The flowers produce a musk-like scent in the evening, "musk-at-el".

Not uncommon in well established broadleaved woodland but easily overlooked unless you know what you are looking for so keep an eye for the small, town hall clock flowers.


 

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This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 2 years 2 months ago

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