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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!

20 October, 2015

Hairy Bittercress: let battle commence

Hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta) may be a little plant but, in the wrong place, it can be a big problem! One of the wrong places appears to be our garden where despite my wife declaring war on it the more she attacks it the stronger it seems to come back. In fact, by pulling it out one merely helps to spread its seeds as the pods burst when touched. The seeds can germinate quickly and soon increase the number of plants you have. I try to explain this but the approach remains the same, pull on sight. 
It is such a shame that all forms of cultivation and wild flowers seem to be in direct conflict. Hairy bittercress is not a 'looker' as far as gardeners are concerned and so it has to go; and the same applies with other 'weeds' too, of course. Seeds often come in to gardens with plants purchased from garden centres and nurseries.
As a cress it is a member of the cabbage (crucifereae) family with four white petals but being a small flower this is not always obvious. It has the capacity to grow all year round in

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