Yellow-wort

┬ęPhilip Precey

Yellow-wort

Scientific name: Blackstonia perfoliata
A plant of chalk and limestone grasslands and sand dunes, Yellow-wort has butter-yellow flowers. Its distinctive leaves sit opposite each other, but are fused together around the stem.

Species information

Statistics

Height: up to 40cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

June to October

About

Found on chalk and limestone grasslands and sand dunes, Yellow-wort is a low-growing annual that flowers between June and October. Like other members of the gentian family, its yellow flowers close during the afternoon. Its waxy, bluish-green leaves help the plant to retain water in the arid conditions in which it thrives.

How to identify

Yellow-wort has butter-yellow, cup-shaped flowers with six to eight petals. It has pointed, bluish-green leaves that appear in opposite pairs, but are fused together around the stem, so look like one leaf.

Distribution

Mainly found in Central and Southern England, and Wales.

Did you know?

Chalk grasslands bloom with wildflowers all summer long, supporting important populations of butterflies, moths and other invertebrates. In these special places, Yellow-wort can be found alongside Bee Orchids, Common Rock-rose, Horseshoe Vetch and Greater Knapweed.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many grassland and coastal habitats sympathetically for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife. Careful grazing with traditional breeds, hay-cutting at the right time and scrub clearance are just some of the ways these habitats are kept in good condition. By volunteering for your local Trust you can help too, and you'll make new friends and learn new skills along the way.