Grey mouse-ear Cerastium brachypetalum

A small, inconspicuous plant with small white starry flowers and greyish hairy stems and leaves.

Distribution

The plant has always been rare in Britain, but is now found in only two sites, one in Kent and the other in Bedfordshire.

The Bedfordshire site is small and the number of plants is declining.

Thousands of plants grew in Kent, but many of these had to be moved during the construction of the Channel Tunnel rail link and the outlook for these sites looks uncertain.

Habitat

Open places on dry hillsides or stony slopes, usually on chalky soils.

Key threats

Loss of open disturbed ground through scrub takeover, and the general loss of open chalk downland.