Bathed in blue
Springing up in tufts on coastal grasslands and cliff edges, sheep’s bit, Jasione montana, can be seen at its best from June until August. This hardy, low-growing flower is commonly spotted in Cornwall and Wales alongside pink thrift and butter-yellow gorse. The semi-spherical heads are made up of a multitude of fivepetalled florets, in shades of faded blue. Rich in nectar, they are frequently visited by bees and butterflies. They are also favoured by sheep, from which they take their common name. Sheep’s bit can be mistaken for devil’s bit scabious as they look similar, but the former is smaller, and tends to grow in very different conditions. Whereas devil’s bit scabious is often found in damp marshes and moorland, sheep’s bit prefers full sunshine and the dry, sandy conditions found along the coast.