Autumn gentian

Autumn gentians are late flowering biennials

Found on the dry, calcareous grasslands around Minchinhampton quarries, the late flowering autumn gentian adds a bit of late summer colour to the Commons.

The autumn gentian is a biennial little plant. The leaves grow in the first year but it isn't until the second year that the flowering stem appears.

Their purple blooms look a little bit like flattened tubes. If you look closely you might be able to find the plant before it flowers. Its narrow pointed leaves have a distinctive reddish tinge.