TG3106 : Knopper gall on acorn

taken 12 months ago, near to Surlingham, Norfolk, Great Britain

This is 1 of 2 images, with title Knopper gall on acorn in this square
Knopper gall on acorn
Knopper gall on acorn
This gall is caused by a tiny gall wasp, Andricus quercuscalicis. The infested acorns become misshapen and heavily ridged. Each gall houses a single Cynipid gall wasp. The galls vary in colour from green to bright red and eventually turn brown and drop off. The larva overwinters in the gall and emerges as a gall wasp in February.

Oak galls are documented to have been used in the production of ink since at least the time of the Roman Empire, and iron gall ink was the main medium used for writing in the Western World from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century. The galls range in size from two to four centimetres in diameter. In Chinese medicine, oak galls are used as a remedy called moshizi, which is used for treating dysentery, ulcers and hemorrhoids among other things. Native Americans used poultices of ground gall nuts on sores, cuts and burns. The high content of tannic acid also makes oak galls a good source for tanning and dyeing.
Plant galls
Galls are abnormal growths, swellings, pustules or discolourations produced by a plant or other host under the influence of another organism, involving the enlargement and/or proliferation of host cells and the provision of both shelter and food or nutrients for the invading organism. Galls provide a home for the larvae or grubs of certain invertebrates, where they can feed and develop, and each type of gall-producer or causer is specific to a particular kind of plant. Galls come in many shapes including spheres, knobs, lumps, warts or blisters, each being characteristic of the causal organism, and can have a range of colours. Galls can be found on the stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds and roots of plants. Although many varieties of plants can be affected, oaks and willows are particularly rich in galls. Oaks are said to be host to more than 500 different types of galls. Weather, plant susceptibility, and pest populations affect the occurrence of plant galls.

Certain galls are documented to have been used in the production of ink since at least the time of the Roman Empire, and iron gall ink was the main medium used for writing in the Western World from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century. Oak marble galls > LinkExternal link for instance, were introduced in the early 19th century in an attempt to grow our own supply of galls for making ink. In Chinese medicine, oak galls are used as a remedy called moshizi, which is used for treating dysentery, ulcers and hemorrhoids among other things. Native Americans used poultices of ground gall nuts on sores, cuts and burns. The high content of tannic acid also makes oak galls a good source for tanning and dyeing.

Galls cause little permanent injury and rarely kill the infested plant.

For more detailed information go to the British Plant Gall Society's website at LinkExternal link
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TG3106, 218 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Saturday, 19 August, 2017   (more nearby)
Submitted
Sunday, 20 August, 2017
Geographical Context
Wild Animals, Plants and Mushrooms 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TG 3138 0677 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:36.5635N 1:24.9595E
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TG 3139 0676
View Direction
North-northwest (about 337 degrees)
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