If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

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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!

17 September, 2015

Heath Milkwort: the thyme leaved milkwort

The dryer areas of the Dorset heaths are not well known for the array of flowers to be seen; heathers are the dominant species of course and there is little scope for much else. However, between May and September this tiny little flower, the heath milkwort (Polygala serpyllifolia) holds its own, especially along footpaths and areas where the heather is less well established.
Going purely by appearance, telling this species from its close relatives, the common and the much rarer chalk milkwort, is quite tricky. However, heath milkwort loves acid soils, the other two prefer chalk, and so that helps to narrow the choice down somewhat.
The heath milkwort is smaller and usually a deeper blue, not so bright as its cousins

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