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!

26 November, 2015

Heath Bedstraw: the acid test

Depending on common English names to identify plants can lead to mistakes but in the case of heath bedstraw (Galium saxatile) you are on fairly safe ground (as long as the ground is acidic!). Heath bedstraw is by far the most common member of the bedstraw family to be found on heaths and acid grasslands. In fact, in Dorset, you can be pretty sure that it is the only one.
Heath bedstraw in a low growing, somewhat sprawling plant that can form quite large mats of vegetation. The creamy white flowers appear from May through until August and, if you get down on your hands and knees and have a sniff you will find them fragrant. I would say that this plant is most common in dry, grassy areas but it can occur amongst heather and can even colonise rocky areas.