Early gentian Gentianella anglica ssp Anglica
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This little plant has beautiful purple flowers up the stem and small pointed leaves below.
It occurs only in isolated populations in England from Cornwall to Lincolnshire. Fortunately several of its sites are in areas that are protected.
It favours open grassy places and light, warm soils, usually limestone but occasionally sandy.
Protected under Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Land seizure for arable farming or tourist development is a principal cause of this gentian’s decline; the other is the encroachment of scrub and trees through loss of grazing. The introduction of stewardship grants for landowners and the continued monitoring of this plant will hopefully see populations revived over the coming years.