Letter: A flower for Europe

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Sir: In response to Dorothy Cuninghame's question (Letters, 23 April), an appropriate 'Euroflower' exists naturally in the form of Lemna trisulca L, the Ivy Duckweed.

Although ubiquitous, the species is insignificant and makes little contribution to the economy of nature. Most of its growth is vegetative and sterile, flowering is very rare, the flower itself much reduced, and fruits are of no consequence.

Each translucent, leafy shoot develops extensively from a slender base. Branches, seemingly at random, grow at right angles to the main axis and sometimes in opposite directions from the same node, to form a tangled mass. The plants float just below the surface of stagnant water, unattached and virtually rootless.

Internally, there is little differentiation of any structure concerned with communication, the tissue being of a spongy nature with large air spaces between the cells.

Additionally, the flattened form and clear outline of this small plant would be amenable to printing as a logo. The plant is green, thrives in unpolluted water and would be an ideal emblem.

Yours faithfully,


Bewdley, Worcestershire

23 April