Spreading hedge-parsley Torilis arvensis

Status Red - Endangered & Critically Endangered
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A low, widely branching plant with small white flowers grouped into umbels. The little fruits have a narrow groove down one side and are elsewhere covered with soft hooked spines.


It grows mainly in south-east England. It has declined sharply in the last 60 years, and is now only found in around 70 10km squares.


Arable field margins and similar disturbed ground.


Classified as Endangered.

Key threats

Modern agricultural practices such as the increased use of herbicides and fertilisers, the development of highly productive crop varieties, and the loss of field margins. Another important factor is the loss of annual short-term sheep grazing on arable land, leading to lack of seed dispersal.