Jasione montana - Sheep's-bit - (Campanulaceae)

This low-growing member of the Bellflower family prefers dry places. It is particularly common on clifftops and heaths, where it copes well with strong winds. It prefers acid soils and is absent from calcareous substrates.

Sheep's-bit

Sheep's bit grows on the coast alongside Thrift (Armeria maritima) and Kidney Vetch ( Anthyllis vulneraria).

The first flowers appear in May and blooming continues into September. Sheep's-bit is usually at its best from late June until early August.

A closeup picture of Sheep's-bit

This plant is sometimes confused with Devil's-bit Scabious, a somewhat coarser but otherwise similar wild flower. The leaves of Sheep's-bit are long and narrow, while those of Devil's-bit Scabious are more oval. Although so similar in appearance these two wildflowers come from different families: Devil's-bit Scabious belongs to the Teasel family - Dipsacaceae.

The specimens on this page were photographed on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in spring.