If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

About Me

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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

27 May, 2010

Sea Campion (Silene maritima)

The Sea Campion is now coming in to flower along the Dorset coast, from sea cliffs to shingle beaches. It does not seem to mind too much as long as it is near the sea. They often form large carpets and are quite spectacular when in full flow.

At first sight Sea Campion appears to have black 'marks' on the petals but when you get close up you can see that these are, in fact black stamens, a bit unusual as stamens are usually yellow or orange.

The black 'marks' are the obvious way to tell this species apart from White Campion or Bladder Campion. The inflated area behind the flowers on Sea Campion can sometimes be misleading and lead you to think that it is Bladder Campion. Obviously, the habitat of being by the sea is another clear indicator. Bladder Campion is a flower of the hedgerow and chalk grasslands.

Sea Campion is just one of the many reasons to head to the Purbeck and Portlands cliffs at this time of year!