Thursday 27 September 2018

Little Blue

Some flowers kind of catch my attention when thumbing through Rose. Not sure why, but the gentians are one gang that I have always felt are that bit special. It could be that some are rare, or maybe that they are indicators of really top quality habitat. I have seen plenty of purple Autumn Gentians over the years at various chalk grassland sites, but one I really wanted to see was the bright blue Marsh Gentian. This is a rare plant, an inhabitant of damp heathland, rather than marshes. I had found out that they grow on Strensall and Skipwith Commons near York. With my colleague Bernie, I went looking for them at Strensall Common a couple of weeks ago, without success. Mind you, it's a big place! With some local gen, I gave Skipwith Common a try and this time my luck was in. Well, sort of! It was pouring down and the three flowers I found were all closed-up. Oh well, getting closer! The weather looked more promising this week, so I headed back on Tuesday lunchtime and sure enough a couple of these gorgeous little blue flowers had opened. And what a treat! A really stunning little flower, growing in short, acid turf, among Cross-leaved Heath, Tormentil and a variety of grasses. Stunning!

Marsh Gentians, Skipwith Common, near York

No comments: