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Early Gentian

A rare plant favouring short turf on limestone soils.



  • Early Gentian: in the lime light

    Post date: Saturday, 26 November, 2016 - 20:56

    It may be stating the obvious but the nature of the soil in any one place will have a profound effect on the flora which grows there. The underlying rock affects the extent to which soil is either acidic or alkaline. Calcareous rocks such as chalk and limestone are alkaline and Dorset has a lot of limestone along its coast line as well as chalk on the Purbeck ridge and the north Dorset ridge. The early gentian (Gentianella anglica) is a very uncommon little flower that thrives on limestone.

    The early gentian is similar to the more familiar autumn gentian but somewhat smaller and flowers in May and early June where as the autumn gentian flowers in Late August and in September. Early gentian is restricted mainly to limestone and can be found at Durlston and Portland whereas autumn gentian likes chalk and so is more widespread in the county.


Common Name Early Gentian
Scientific Name Gentianella anglica
Species Group Gentian Family Gentianaceae
Interest Level
Look for
Identification Notes
Primary Habitat
Family Gentian family - Gentianaceae
Status Local
Flower Colour Group Purple
  • 04 - April
  • 05 - May
  • 06 - June
Preferred Environment
Look for Short plant with upright purple trumpet flowers
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Notebook Distribution Map Sites List Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

To see related species click here: 

Gentian Family Gentianaceae