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Spotted rockrose usually blossoms in early spring, having germinated in the autumn and survived the winter as a rosette of leaves. Wet summers can cause a summer blossom. However, if you want to see this plant flower, you'll have to get up early. Each flower blossoms only once and just for a few hours. It opens in the morning during warm sunny weather and the petals fall off before midday. Spotted rockrose grows in sunny places with low open growth and calcium-poor, weakly acidic soil. In the Netherlands, it used to grow in the dunes from Callantsoog northwards but is momentarily only found on Vlieland. Vlieland is also where the plant was first discovered in this country. Why spotted rockrose has become so rare is unclear. Some plant experts think it is due to a change in acidity and nutrients in the top soil and a disturbance in its relationship with fungi.

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