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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!

20 September, 2016

Marssh Cinquefoil:the purple marshlocks

What a stunning flower the marsh cinquefoil (Comarum palustre) is! It is not a big plant and so certainly benefits from some magnification provided by a camera which then reveals its beauty. Maybe it is the unusual colouring of the petals that is repeated in the sepals, stems and some of the late leaves that makes this a bit special for me.
It is not a common species anywhere in Britain and is more likely to be found in the upper moorland bogs "up north" but it does also occur in wet fens and marsh at lower levels here in Dorset. It flowers from May until July and, because of its desire for a wet habitat it is not easy to find. I was very lucky to find this one on Wareham Common. I new it was there from the SSSI citation so I went looking for it and found just this one before it became too wet to go any further without my wellies on.
This plant is found across Europe and also in the USA where it is known as the purple marshlocks!
Marssh Cinquefoil:the purple marshlocks