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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!

03 September, 2016

Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage: sepals no petals

Where you find shallow water in streams you will sometimes find a mat of leaves with small yellow flowers amongst them, this is the opposite-leaved golden saxifrage (Chrysosplenium oppositifolium). The leaves are visible for much of the year but the flowers only from February until May. I have said that the flowers are yellow but that is not entirely true, it is the impression the plant gives. In reality the plant has no petals but it does have yellowish green sepals and bright yellow anthers.
This is quite a distinctive plant and quite unmistakable when you find it. The opposite-leaved  golden saxifrage is common across Dorset in suitable habitat but the alternate-leaved golden saxifrage is absent from the county, it is a mountain species, and so confusion should not arise.
Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage: sepals no petals