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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!

22 August, 2015

Lesser Snapdragon: the weasels snout | Nature Notes from Dorset

Many a private garden has snapdragons growing the in flower borders. Known is horticultural circles as antirrhinums they have a distinctive flower head that has what appears to be a mouth! When you gently squeeze the flower on each side with your finger and thumb so the mouth opens, release and the mouth snaps shut. Watch antirrhinums for a while and you will see a bee land on the lower lip so that the mouth opens and the bee then disappears inside to get to the nectar and pollen.
The garden antirrhinum has various wild cousins often bearing the name toadflax. The lesser snapdragon (Antirrhinum orontium) is a member of this sub-family of plants and is, as its name implies, just a small version of the garden variety. It has small mauve flowers, grows to about a foot tall, flowers between July and October and thrives in the cultivated soil of gardens and farm fields.

Read more: Lesser Snapdragon: the weasels snout | Nature Notes from Dorset