Sunday, 17 April 2011


The sparkling dew drops on the leaves of the strawberry plants outside the back door keep catching my eye on these bright mornings.
But looking around the garden this morning, I was surprised to see that there was no dew on any other plants. Intrigued, I consulted the trusty interweb to remind myself how dew worked.

But no, this isn't dew apparently. (Perhaps the perfect arrangement of the droplets on the very tips of the leaves should have given it away, but it was early, okay?) It's guttation.

Yep, guttation. You learn something new every day.
Guttation is a harmless process that occurs sometimes in vascular plants, which close their little breathing holes (stomata) overnight but keep taking in water if the soil is wetter than the roots. This leads to a water pressure build-up in the plant overnight, and excess water is pushed through its veins to the tips of the leaves, where it oozes out and forms droplets. More here if you care for a more in-depth science lesson!
In fact, much of the dew we see is likely to be guttation, and not dew at all. 
Samson thought it was all very interesting.
Or maybe he just wanted to know why this was more important than breakfast.


Nate said...

Wow, interesting! Thanks for the link and info - I'd never heard of this before but did wonder sometimes why some of my plants seemed to have 'dew' but others did not =)

Nome said...

You're welcome! Thanks for dropping by :)

Paul and Melanie said...

Ahhhh see, you learn something new everyday! Very cute cat too! :)

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