I’ve mentioned before here on the blog the white flowers of the usually pink-flowered Common centaury (Small and white, July 2020) and the blue flowers of the usually orange-red-flowered Scarlet pimpernel (The Pimpernels, July 2017). Today, I have another couple of wildflower oddities for you.
Pink Devil’s-bit scabious (Succisa pratensis)
As I’m sure you’re aware, the flowers of Devil’s-bit scabious are usually somewhere in the lilac, blue-mauve range but, at Lavernock Nature Reserve, there are quite a number of plants with pink flowers. I’ve read this is a natural variation but I don’t know if there is something specific that triggers the alteration in colour. At Lavernock, the pink-flowering plants grow right next to those with lilac flowers, so it’s certainly nothing to do with the soil.
White Common knapweed (Centaurea nigra)
Also at Lavernock Nature Reserve, I recently found Common knapweed with stunning white flowers. This plant, of course, usually has flowers in the pink-purple range. Once again, plants with purple and white flowers were growing right next to each other, which presumably rules out soil composition as a factor. It’s a mystery, but a rather lovely mystery, to be sure!