SK9950 : Field Scabious (Knautia arvensis)

taken 10 years ago, 3 km from Cranwell, Lincolnshire, Great Britain

Field Scabious (Knautia arvensis)
Field Scabious (Knautia arvensis)
Growing in the long fine grass of the heath land field margin along Ermine Street. This common grassland plant carries its flowers on tall stems sometimes as much as 100cm high. The pointed oval leaves form a basal clump. The flowers are usually pale lilac or blue but can be pink or white. The marginal flowers on the flower head are larger and more intense in colour than the central ones. They are mainly pollinated by bees and butterflies.

Field scabious is now regarded as a potential oilseed crop. The seeds contain approximately 25% of Caprylic and capric acids which are used in detergent and soap manufacture. These, at present, are only directly available from coconut and palm kernels. Research is underway to develop the commercial cropping of Field Scabious as Caprylic and capric acids are increasingly being used in high performance oils for jet engines and other lubricants of high quality. They are also used in the preparation of some valued dietary fats. Caprylic acid is specifically used in synthesis of fragrance raw materials, plasticizers and also in skin preparations.
The main stumbling block to commercial development at the moment seems to be the long flowering period that makes harvesting very difficult.
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SK9950, 21 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 10 July, 2007   (more nearby)
Submitted
Monday, 16 July, 2007
Category
Flora   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SK 991 504 [100m precision]
WGS84: 53:2.5127N 0:31.4008W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SK 991 504
View Direction
Northeast (about 45 degrees)
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