Eye Spy Nature in October
Intense autumn colour from a delicate heathland flower.
This attractive mauve-y blue pincushion is the flower of Devil’s-bit scabious, a real native heathland plant. It flowers when there is no other colour around save for autumn leaves changing. For this reason the scabious is an important food resource for late butterflies, including the marsh fritillary, which has not been recorded on the heath for many years.
You can find this patch of flowers at the highest part of the fairway close to Sussex Road Car-park.
The butterfly shown is a small copper, which is sometimes abundant on the heath, though our recorder Alf Smallbone reports he has recorded only a few this year.