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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!

24 January, 2017

Water Figwort: the shoreline figwort

The figworts are quite unusual looking flowers that really stand out from the rest and are quite unmistakable once you recognise them. Realistically, you are only going to encounter common figwort and water figwort (Scrophularia auriculata) in Dorset and if you cannot tell the flowers apart the habitat is usually enough to help you. Water figwort is usually found in wet places, stream sides, ditches, pond edges and so on whereas common figwort prefers drier conditions in shade so is more likely to be found in woodland and shaded hedgerows.
Water figwort grows to about four feet tall. It is a robust plant with the flowers appearing at the top of the stout, square stem (which is usually a reddish brown colour). The dark reddish brown flowers can be seen from June through until September.
Strangely, this is also known as the shoreline figwort which implies salt water but this is very much  fresh water plant.
Water Figwort: the shoreline figwort