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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!

07 June, 2012

Early Gentian (Gentianella anglica)

It may be stating the obvious but the nature of the soil in any one place will have a profound effect on the flora which grows there. The underlying rock affects the extent to which soil is either acidic or alkaline. Calcareous rocks such as chalk and limestone are alkaline and Dorset has a lot of limestone along its coast line as well as chalk on the Purbeck ridge and the north Dorset ridge. The Early Gentian is a very uncommon little flower that thrives on limestone.

The Early Gentian is similar to the Autumn Gentian but somewhat smaller and flowers in May and early June where as the Autumn Gentian flowers in Late August and in September. Early Gentian is restricted mainly to limestone and can be found at Durlston and Portland whereas Autumn Gentian likes chalk and so is more widespread in the county.

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Find out more about the Early Gentian here: www.natureofdorset.co.uk/species_panel/Early%20Gentian?vd...