In June and July the sea campion (Silene uniflora) comes in to flower along the Dorset coast; from sea cliffs to shingle beaches It does not seem to mind too much as long as it is near the sea. It often form large carpets and can be quite spectacular when in full flow.
At first sight sea campion appears to have black 'marks' on the petals but when you get close up you can see that these are, in fact black stamens, a bit unusual as stamens are usually yellow or orange. These black 'marks' are the obvious way to tell this species apart from white campion and bladder campion as the inflated area behind the flowers on sea campion can sometimes be misleading and lead you to think that it is bladder campion. Obviously the seaside is another clear distinction as bladder campion is a flower of the hedgerow and chalk grasslands.
Sea campion is just one of the many reasons to head to the Purbeck and Portlands cliffs in summer!Sea Campion: a black mark