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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!

15 January, 2017

Sea Bindweed: the princes flower



You find sea bindweed (Calystegia soldanella) by the sea. I Know that is stating the obvious but as, superficially, it is very like field bindweed it is one of the quickest ways to tell them apart. Sea bindweed is found mainly on sand dunes and occasionally on shingle all around the coast if Britain but it is not actually common anywhere.
Both sea and field bindweed are low, sprawling plants sending out several stems across the ground from which the heart shaped leaves appear and amongst these the pink and white flowers. Sea bindweed flowers are probably a bit bigger than those of the field bindweed and the petals are a delicate combination of pink and white whereas the field bindweed can be all white, all pink, or a combination of both. The field bindweed is a weed of cultivation on farmland  and in hedgerows and will never be found in the same habitat as the sea bindweed. Sea bindweed flowers from June to August.
In the USA this is called the beach morning glory but the accepted morning glory in the United Kingdom is a blue and white cultivated plant of of the same family. In Scotland it is known as the prince's flower as apparently Bonnie Prince Charlie sowed some on the island of Eriskay in 1745 when he landed to start what we know as the Jacobite rebellion. I am not sure I believe that; a rather strange thing for him to do?
Sea Bindweed: the princes flower