Greater stitchwort Stellaria holostea

Status
Best Time to See
Colour
Habitat Woodland
"And stitchwort whitefling starry light..."

- Horace Smith, "Letter From The Town Mouse To The Country Mouse"

Description

A pretty white wildflower often found in spring lanes.

How to spot it

White flowers, 20-30mm across, with five petals divided half way and twice as long as the sepals. Leaves narrow, with rough edges, stalkless, in pairs, each pair at right angles to the next. Stem square. (National Plant Monitoring Scheme Species ID Guide)

Where it grows

Hedgerows and deciduous woodland.

Best time to see

April to June.

How's it doing?

Stable.

3 things you might not know

  • One of its local names is “popguns” as its seeds fire off noisily when ripe.
  • Other names ("Poor Man's Buttonhole", "Daddy's Shirt Buttons") suggest it was once used as a buttonhole.
  • The name "Stitchwort" itself comes from the once-held belief it cured side-stitch caused by exercise.