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Grass-of-Parnassus

(Parnassia palustris )

Grass-of-Parnassus © Trevor Dines/Plantlife

Grass-of-Parnassus © Trevor Dines/Plantlife


"Grass of Parnassus, flower of my delight..."

- Andrew Lang, "Grass of Parnassus"


Description

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.

Where it grows

Wet moors.

Best time to see

July to September.

Cultural info

It is the County Flower of both Cumbria and Sutherland

How's it doing?

Grass-of-Parnassus has been in decline across the southern regions of the UK for many years, mainly due to land drainage. 

3 things you may not know

  • The name comes from ancient Greece. The cattle on Mount Parnassus developed a taste for the plant; hence it was an ‘honorary grass'.
  • As well as being its County Flower, Grass-of-Parnassus appears on Cumbria's county's arms.
  • It is said to smell of honey.

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