Crosswort

Cruciata laevipes

  1. Wildlife
  2. Wildflowers
  3. Crosswort

About

The small, pale yellow flowers of Crosswort can be seen in grassy woodland rides, hedgerows and roadside verges between April and June. They appear up the length of the stem along with the distinctive whorls of four leaves that give this plant its name. It prefers chalky or neutral soils and spreads using rhizomes (stems).

How to identify

Crosswort is distinctive in that it displays tiny, yellow flowers that surround four-leaved whorls around the stem. The other yellow-flowered member of the bedstraw family, Lady's Bedstraw, has clusters of flowers at the ends of its stems giving it a more 'frothy' appearance.

Where to find it

Common in mainland UK, particularly in the north and east of England.

Habitats

When to find it

  • April
  • May
  • June

How can people help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many grassland habitats 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 fragile habitats are kept in good condition - supporting wildflowers and, in turn, invertebrates and the larger animals that prey on them. By volunteering for your local Trust you can help too, and you'll make new friends and learn new skills along the way.

Species information

Common name
Crosswort
Latin name
Cruciata laevipes
Category
Wildflowers
Statistics
Height: up to 50cm
Conservation status
Common.