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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!

26 June, 2010

Eastern Gladiolus (Gladiolus communis)

One of the many problems you face in botany is the habit we humans have developed for bringing flowers from across the world back to our gardens and then letting them escape in to the wild. This means that you encounter flowers just not in your field guide!

In the Lighthouse Field at Anvil Point, Durslton there is a lovely display of these flowers, what we always believed to be Wild Gladiolus but my field guide says that Wild Gladiolus are only found in the New Forest and I have seen them there, at Acres Down near Lyndhurst. I am indebted to local botanical expert, Ted Pratt, for putting me right in this through his excellent book, 'The Wild Flowers of the Isle of Purbeck'.

This lovely flower is, in fact a cultivated variety of Gladiolus that has either been planted or escaped and can be found in various 'waste' spots around Swanage including those by the Anvil light.