Vulnerable gentian on The Lizard

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Walking across the heath above Kynance Cove on The Lizard in Cornwall last weekend it was obvious that autumn is here. The Cornish Heath (Erica vagans) was no longer colouring the landscape pink, as it has since July, and patches of yellow Western Gorse (Ulex gallii) were the brightest plant around.

There were some nodding heads of blue mauve Devil’s-bit Scabious (Succisa pratensis) alongside the trackway and then we saw something different, this delicate gentian.

Insight into Field Gentian (Gentianella campestris): native and widely distributed in north and upland Britain, this gentian is rare elsewhere. It’s Red Data Book status is “vulnerable“.

Flowering from July to October it can be found in various habitats on acid soils.

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