What a gallant little soldier this plant is! Despite it now being November with strong winds and frequent rain this small flower is doing its best to keep its head up. It has been flowering here in Dorset since August and I suspect it will take a frost or two to see it off.
It is a member of the daisy family and its latin name is Galinsoga parviflora. Say that first part out loud with a ‘soft’ g and you will see where its common name of Gallant Soldier comes from. Just a short step from latin to English country dialect.
I have not seen it anywhere else in Dorset other than around Carey and Northmoor near Wareham and here it is a common weed of roadside gutters. It can thrive with virtually no soil to hold its roots, it can stand its ground as the rain water rushes along the gutters and uses the rainwater to spread its seeds further along the gutter to new places.
Some people do clear the gutter outside their houses but where they don’t this truly gallant soldier will dig in and hold its own!