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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!

02 November, 2013

Gallant little soldier on parade

Galinsoga parviflora or gallant soldier

What a gallant little soldier this plant is! Despite it now being November with strong winds and frequent rain this small flower is doing its best to keep its head up. It has been flowering around here since August and I suspect it will take a frost or two to see it off.

It is a member of the daisy family and its latin name is Galinsoga parviflora. Say that first part out loud with a ‘soft’ g and you will see where its common name of Gallant Soldier comes from. Just a short step from latin to English country dialect.

I have not seen it anywhere in Dorset other than around Carey and Northmoor near Wareham and here it is a common weed of roadside gutters. It can thrive with virtually no soil to hold its roots, it can stand its ground as the rain water rushes along the gutters and uses the rainwater to spread its seeds further along the gutter to new places.

Some people do clear the gutter outside their houses but where they don’t this truly gallant soldier will dig in and hold its own!