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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!

01 October, 2015

Marsh Pennywort: the answer lies in the leaves

The vegetation in wet areas of heath is, naturally, very diffferent to that of dry heath. Whilst some plants occur in both, in general each species has its preference for areas of wet mire and bog or dry, sandy soil. It should not come as a surprise, then, that marsh pennywort (Hydrocotyle vulgaris) favours damp bog and fen. It also has a preference for acid conditions so the wet areas on the Dorset heaths is a place you are likely to find it. 
If you are looking for a flower to identify it by you are most likely going to struggle because the flowers are very small, green in colour and are formed in a tight ball so although flowers are present from June in to August they are not readily visible! Fortunately the leaves are quite distinctive being disc-like forming a very shallow cone. The leaves recall water-lily in some ways as they tend to float on standing water if present.
Not over common in my experience but where it does occur 

Read more: Marsh Pennywort: the answer lies in the leaves