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Heath Dog Violet: the acid test

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Heath Dog Violet: the acid test

The easiest way to tell a heath dog violet (Viola canina) from its near relatives the common and the early dog violets is through habitat! It does not always work with English names but if you find a dog violet on heathland it will, almost certainly, be heath dog violet. You can then make doubly sure by checking the spur behind the flower and if it is a creamy or yellowish colour then heath dog violet it is. 

Whilst not a rare flower it is certainly far from common, its preference for acidic heath meaning its range is bound to be restricted anyway. It does occur in patches on the heath in Dorset but it not that often that you encounter it. It also occurs on acid grassland too but in Dorset I have only ever seen them on heaths.

I find it interesting that this species, although far less common than its two cousins I mentioned earlier, is the one whose scientific name is 'canina' or 'dog like'.


 

 

If you would like to see the complete series that this post is part of click here ---->
This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 2 years 2 months ago

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