Danish scurvy-grass Cochlearia danica

Status Green - Least concern
Best Time to See May, June
Habitat Coastal

Also known as 'early scurvy-grass'.

A small, delicate flower with four white or mauve petals and a high tolerance of salt.


Despite its Scandinavian moniker, Danish scurvy-grass is native to the UK. It can be found throughout most of Britain.


Danish scurvy-grass was traditionally considered a coastal plant: with its love of salty places, salt marshes and sea shores provide an ideal home.

In recent times, however, it has begun to colonise the verges of our roads and motorways thanks to extensive gritting in winter. Also, fast-moving traffic causes turbulence which is wafting seeds along at a remarkable rate and there is no doubt that the bare, stony edges of trunk-road verges (liberally doused with de-icing salt) are a congenial habitat for this native of maritime shingle banks.

Best time to see

Danish scurvy-grass blooms from May to June.

Did you now?

Scurvy is an affliction caused by a lack of Vitamin C. Sailors were particularly prone due to spending long periods at sea with no fresh fruit or veg to hand. The leaves of scurvy-grass are particularly rich in Vitamin C so it was often eaten between journeys - hence the name.