The mystery of the Selfridges Twig has been solved. The horticultural addition to the Bullring store’s iconic roof has been identified as... a common weed.
Plant experts at Birmingham Botanical Gardens took a close look at the plant and said it was most probably Salix Caprea - commonly known as Goat Willow or Pussy Willow.
They said it had started to grow behind one of the silver discs after its fluffy seeds were blown there by the wind and it had taken root.
Vernon Johnson, the Gardens’ gardening advisor, said: “It’s a common weed which comes up on wasteground, in guttering and roofs - it’s a nuisance.
“If Selfridges doesn’t remove it and it has the right conditions it will grow into a small tree.”
Mr Johnson said Goat Willow grew into large trees in gardens, and were pretty when they flower in spring.
But elsewhere their seeds blow through the wind and where they land cause nuisance and are the scourge of gardeners.
He said he was not surprised it had set up home on Selfridges root as it did not need much to take root.
“All it needs is some organic matter and moisture and it will begin growing,” he said. “My guess is there’s some soil or dirt lodged behind one of the discs, a fluffy seed has landed there and now it’s begun growing.”
A spokesman for Selfridges said The Twig’s days were numbered.
“The Selfridges Twig will be removed from the building as carefully as possible,” he said. “We were planning to plant it somewhere in the city where it will have a much better chance of flourishing.
“But now the experts at the Botanical Gardens have told us it’s a weed we’ll follow their expert advice.”