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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!

25 February, 2015

Toothwort: the root of the matter | Nature Notes from Dorset

Hazel coppice can be one of the best habitats in which to find spring flowers and by April the woodland floor is covered in yellow, white and blue blossoms from an array of species. However, if you go to a coppice in late February or in March you may be rewarded by the discovery of this quite rare and unique flower, toothwort (Lathraea squamaria).
Toothwort is a parasitic plant that grows on the roots of trees and has a particular affinity to the hazel. Being parasitic it does not need chlorophyll and so it is a creamy white colour tinged with purple. Those of you familiar with the broomrape family will see a resemblance as they are also parasitic plants and they are distantly related.

Read more: Toothwort: the root of the matter | Nature Notes from Dorset