Lesser Stitchwort

March 10th, 2012

Latin:  Stellaria graminea

Irish:  Tursarraing bheag


This is a hairless, native perennial that is regularly found in grassland, hedges and marshes.

It has a straggling growth habit with weak stems that are more-or-less square in cross section.  The hairless leaves (15-25mm long) grow in opposite pairs, have an elongated spear-like shape and are attached directly to the stem.

It produces numerous small white flowers during June-August.  The flowers measure 10-15mm across and they have 5 petals that are divided almost to the base – so deeply divided that at first glance there appears to be 10 petals.  The flowers, even though small, are so attractive when the plant is growing in a clump that some have suggested that it could be grown as an ornamental garden plant.


It has been speculated that the common name “Stitchwort” comes from its use in folk medicine where it was mixed with powdered acorns and consumed as a treatment for a “stitch” or similar pains in the side.


Specimens have been collected at Castlewarden in the area of rough between the 1st, 2nd and 3rd holes.

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