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Irish Woodland flowers : Greater Stitchwort (Stellaria holostea)

 Greater Stitchwort Stellaria holostea Nigel Borrington

Greater Stitchwort
Stellaria holostea
Nigel Borrington

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).

Forest flowers 1

Forest flowers 2

4 responses

  1. It has such a happy face!

    May 27, 2015 at 12:21 am

    • Hello Elen πŸ™‚

      |Yes don’t they just, It great to see them , Summer is here πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      May 27, 2015 at 10:53 am

  2. Hi Nigel. In the last few days I have been trying to find the name of Stellaria holostea. Today I don’t have to look further, thank you πŸ™‚ Furthermore, you have shown me how it is portrayed in the best possible way.
    All the best,

    May 27, 2015 at 10:29 am

    • Hello Hanna πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Thank you , that’s a very kind comment and its great to know that the post helped you πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      May 27, 2015 at 10:54 am

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