If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

About Me

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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!

14 January, 2016

Bog Myrtle: the sweet gale

The Internet can share words, photographs, video and sound but sadly not smell (well, not yet anyway). So, I can share this photo with you and write some words about it but I cannot share the scent of bog myrtle (Myrica gale). I cannot pass this shrubby plant without nipping a bud, seed head or leaf off of it, then crushing it and sniffing the wonderful aroma of pine, it so strong. It also quite distinctive and is its main feature.
I doubt my photo, which is of the ripening seeds, will be flagged as a favourite by anyone. This is not a particularly beautiful plant; in fact it is a bit plain and boring with flowers that are hardly discernible, very small catkins that appear in April and May before the greyish, oval leaves subsequently come out.
As its name implies, it can be found in boggy areas on any low lying, damp, acid heathland. It forms quite large colonies, one is unlikely to find one individual plant. 

Bog Myrtle: the sweet gale