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Grass-of-Parnassus

(Parnassia palustris )

Grass-of-Parnassus © Beth Newman/Plantlife

Grass-of-Parnassus © Beth Newman/Plantlife


A flower of cold beauty and a symbol of 'the wilderness and wet'.

Also known as the 'bog star', it isn't actually a grass at all, belonging to an entirely different botanical class.

Grass-of-Parnassus is the County Flower of both Cumbria and Sutherland and has the distinction of appearing on the former's county arms.

Distribution

Grass-of-Parnassus has been in decline across the southern regions of the UK for many years, mainly due to land drainage. It is mainly found in Scotland, northern England and Wales and northern East Anglia. Smaller populations can be found in some parts of the Midlands.

Habitat

Wet moors.

Best time to see

July to September when it flowers.

Did you know?

The name comes from ancient Greece. The cattle on Mount Parnassus developed a taste for the plant; hence it was an ‘honorary grass'.