Irish Woodland flowers : Greater Stitchwort (Stellaria holostea)
Each day this month as I go for a walk with our dog Molly, into some of our local woodland I have noticed all the wildflowers of May time and they have been a wonderful sight .
Greater Stichwort with its pure white flower heads and tall stems are just some of these.
Greater Stitchwort grows in woods, roadside verges, hedgerows and grassy banks. It has many other common names including ‘Wedding Cakes’, ‘Star-of-Bethlehem’, ‘Daddy’s-shirt-buttons’ and ‘Snapdragon’ – the latter because its stems are brittle and easily break. It’s pretty star-shaped, white flowers bloom from April to June; as the seed capsules ripen, they can be heard ‘popping’ in late spring.
How to identify
Greater Stitchwort has five white petals, each deeply notched and almost divided into two. Its green leaves are grass-like in appearance and its brittle stems are square. Greater Stitchwort has larger flowers (2-3cm across) than its relative, Lesser Stitchwort (0.5-1cm across).