Primulas, Violas and Polygalas

The primula family contains the primrose and its cousins, violas are, of course violets and polygala are milkworts. To find out more about any of the species click on the link to the Nature of Dorset.
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There must be 101 reasons to visit Durlston Country Park near Swanage and this is certainly one of them. In the flower meadows at the top of the cliffsin May there are countless numbers of Cowslip. The same is true of the neighbouring Dorset Wildlife Trust reserve of Townsend. Cowslips were once very common. These days they are still found throughout the county in meadows and on grassland, occasionally even in the middle of roundabouts!

Cowslips were once very common. These days they are still found throughout the county in meadows and on grassland, occasionally even in the middle of roundabouts!

It may be just me and the way I use my camera but I always feel that it never does anything coloured purple justice! This Early Dog-violet looks decidedly blue and not its true deep violet colouring. The Early Dog-violet certainly comes out early in the year being in flower in March and is a few weeks ahead of its close cousin, the Common Dog-violet which is more prevelent in April and May. It is really timing that I base my observations on as I find them exceedingly difficult to tell apart.

It may be just me and the way I use my camera but I always feel that it never does anything coloured purple justice! This Early Dog-violet looks decidedly blue and not its true deep violet colouring. The Early Dog-violet certainly comes out early in the year being in flower in March and is a few weeks ahead of its close cousin, the Common Dog-violet which is more prevelent in April and May. It is really timing that I base my observations on as I find them exceedingly difficult to tell apart.

Cowslip: herb Peter | The Nature of Dorset

Cowslip: herb Peter - a nature note from Dorset

Common Dog-violet: the spur of the moment | Nature Notes from Dorset

Common Dog-violet: the spur of the moment

Heath Dog Violet: the acid test | Nature Notes from Dorset

Heath Dog Violet: the acid test

Roses are red, sweet violets are blue ... | Peter Orchard

Sweet Violet: Roses are red, sweet violets are blue .

In May the short turf on the cliff tops of the chalky Dorset coast are showing patches of this delightful little plant, Chalk Milkwort. Whilst Milkwort is quite easy to identify, separating the three British species is not so easy! The differences are quite small and it takes a good botanist to spot the minor variations between them. For the lesser botanist like me then habitat is the best guide but certainly not  the most accurate. Common and Chalk Milkwort can grow side by side so take…

In May the short turf on the cliff tops of the chalky Dorset coast are showing patches of this delightful little plant, Chalk Milkwort. Whilst Milkwort is quite easy to identify, separating the three British species is not so easy! The differences are quite small and it takes a good botanist to spot the minor variations between them. For the lesser botanist like me then habitat is the best guide but certainly not the most accurate. Common and Chalk Milkwort can grow side by side so take…

Yellow Pimpernel: in a shady glade | Nature Notes from Dorset

Yellow Pimpernel: in a shady glade

Early Dog-violet: earning its spurs | Nature Notes from Dorset

It may be just me and the way I use my camera but I always feel that it never does anything coloured purple justice! This early dog-violet (Viola reichenbachiana) looks decidedly blue and not its true deep violet colouring.

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