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!

10 July, 2016

Greater Knapweed: butterfly heaven



This is a favourite flower of mine because it is also such a favourite with insects. When you come across a patch of greater knapweed (Centaurea scabiosa) it is always time to slow down and look at each one to see what lies in store feeding in that lovely flower head. It is a real magnet for butterflies, especially the marbled white, but also for skippers including the Lulworth skipper. Bumblebees adore it as well.
Knapweeds are members of the daisy family and closely related to thistles. The greater knapweed is a common species in the south of England, especially in Dorset, on calcareous soils where it can be found on grassland, on downland, in scrubby areas and in hedgerows .
 
Flowering from June through to August you can find it on the cliff tops of the Dorset coast, along the Purbeck Ridge and on the downlands in the mid and north of the county.
Greater Knapweed: butterfly heaven