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Chiltern Gentian

Scientific name: Gentianella germanica
Considered to be one of the prettiest gentians, the Chiltern Gentian is a rare plant that is only found in the UK. It likes chalk grasslands, its purple, trumpet-shaped flowers blooming from August.

Species information

Statistics

Height: up to 50cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

August to September

About

The Chiltern Gentian is a rare annual or biennial flower that is found on lowland chalk grassland with short vegetation, particularly where the soil has been disturbed. Occasionally, it can be found growing at woodland edges if the soil is right. Its purple (sometimes white), trumpet-shaped flowers appear in branching clusters from August to September.

How to identify

The Chiltern Gentian has bright purple, five-petalled, trumpet-shaped flowers with fine white stamens inside; the flowers may also be pink or whitish. It has long, narrow, green leaves that are unstalked, growing directly from the reddish stem.

Distribution

Mainly found in Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.

Did you know?

The Chiltern Gentian is endemic to the UK, meaning it is only found here and nowhere else in the world. In fact, it is largely confined to the Chilterns and is the county flower of Buckinghamshire.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many grassland habitats sympathetically for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife. Careful grazing with traditional breeds, hay-cutting at the right time and scrub clearance are just some of the ways grasslands are kept in good condition - supporting plants and invertebrates and, in turn, the larger animals that prey on them. By volunteering for your local Trust you can help too, and you'll make new friends and learn new skills along the way.