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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!

23 July, 2015

Heath Dog Violet: the acid test | Nature Notes from Dorset

The easiest way to tell a heath dog violet (Viola canina) from its near relatives the common and the early dog violets is through habitat! It does not always work with English names but if you find a dog violet on heathland it will, almost certainly, be heath dog violet. You can then make doubly sure by checking the spur behind the flower and if it is a creamy or yellowish colour then heath dog violet it is. 
Whilst not a rare flower it is certainly far from common, its preference for acidic heath meaning its range is bound to be restricted anyway. It does occur in patches on the heath in Dorset but it not that often that you encounter it. It also occurs on acid grassland

Read more: Heath Dog Violet: the acid test | Nature Notes from Dorset