Finland’s Spring Purpling

Had a nice catch up with Saila from Berner in Finland this week and after she saw my blog about Spring purpling she talked me through what they see in Finland. After all if this phenomenon is related to a combination of low temps and high light levels you’d expect to see quite a bit of it there.

She was telling me that they see this in varying degrees in different species, Velvet bent shows the greatest colour change but Creeping bent, Fescue and Poa all express their own variation of colour.

Generally greens come out of snow cover in Mid March green but quickly change to their spring purple colour and stay in that form until around Mid May.

The above two charts show a comparison of the UK midlands and Helsinki. You can see quite early in the year (end of March in 2019) that the light levels in Helsinki regularly exceed ours but the temperatures in Finland stay very low compared to the UK until well into the Spring. In 2019 they didn’t see regular temps above 0C until 2nd week of May.

This is a great example of how the same turf species that we use in the UK cope with some really high stresses and how they use their own physiological processes to adapt and protect themselves.

Stay safe 😊

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