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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!

10 March, 2016

Lesser Stitchwort: a stitch in time





Greater stitchwort, sometimes called shirt buttons, is very much a flower of woodlands and hedgerows so to find that its cousin, lesser stitchwort (Stellaria graminea) prefers grassy places, usually on acid soils is quite a surprise. This explains, however, why one often finds lesser stitchwort on heathland.
Whilst having similar characteristics to greater stitchwort lesser is, as it name suggests, a much frailer, with narrower stems and smaller leaves. The petals are much finer too giving it a very different look, whilst still feeling familiar.  The narrow white flowers lead to its other common name, starwort.
It flowers from May until August (greater stitchwort flowers earlier than this) and is quite common in the right habitat.
Lesser Stitchwort: a stitch in time