Sanicle Sanicula europaea

Best Time to See
Habitat Woodland

Pale pink flowers are borne in tight clumps on the end of long reddish green stems. These develop into hooked fruits which cling to animal fur or clothing.

How to spot it

Above glossy dark green toothed leaves, the small pinkish flowers are in tightly clumps. 

Where it grows

Throughout the British Isles, sanicle is mostly found in deciduous woods on damp calcareous soils, but may also be spotted on shady roadsides and hedgebanks.

Best time to see

In flower from May to August.

How's it doing?

In some areas it has declined due to the removal of its woodland habitat.

3 things you might not know

  • Its name ‘sanicle’ is derived from the Latin word ‘sanus’ meaning ‘healthy’, relating to its value as a medicinal plant.
  • In France it is called ‘herbe de St Laurent’ after a saint who was burnt to death, so the plant was used to treat burns.
  • In parts of Somerset it is known as ‘Wood Elder’.