Chiltern gentian Gentianella germanica

With bright purple petals, this wildflower is one of the prettiest of the gentians.

Unfortunately it is also one of the rarest in the UK. It is largely confined to the Chiltern Hills (hence its name).

Distribution

Most grow on the chalk downs of Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire. It was recently rediscovered in Wiltshire.

Habitat

Chalk downland. It prefers short open turf with bare areas for its seeds to germinate.

Best time to see

August-September. It flowers in August, when most downland flowers are over.

County flower of Buckinghamshire.