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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