Marsh Gentian: the trumpet major

There is little doubt that some flowers have a special aura about them, a mystique perhaps that will bring enthusiasts from far and wide to see them. Orchids are, of course, the obvious example but the marsh gentian (Gentiana pneumonanthe) is certainly another speciality that is actively sought by many. I know this to be true as I have emails from several people asking me where they can see marsh gentian whilst visiting Dorset.
The beautiful blue flowers are pretty unique amongst native British flora and the fact that they are far from common must help to make them special. Not only are they quite rare they grow and prosper in inaccessible places in boggy areas of heath, flowering from July until early September. They can be found in various places on the Dorset heath where conditions are suitable but they are not always that easy to find. Undoubtedly the best and most accessible display I have found is on Hartland Moor between Wareham and Corfe Castle.
Discovering the blue trumpet flowers of the marsh gentian

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