Greater Stitchwort

Stellaria holostea

  1. Wildlife
  2. Wildflowers
  3. Greater Stitchwort

About

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).

Where to find it

Widespread.

Habitats

When to find it

  • May
  • June
  • July

How can people help

Our hedgerows support all kinds of wildlife, providing vital food and shelter. But these habitats are disappearing with the intensification of agriculture. The Wildlife Trusts are working closely with farmers, landowners and developers to promote wildlife-friendly practices, such as planting hedges and leaving field margins. We have a vision of a 'Living Landscape': a network of habitats and wildlife corridors across town and country, which are good for both wildlife and people. You can support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Greater Stitchwort
Latin name
Stellaria holostea
Category
Wildflowers
Statistics
Height: up to 50cm
Conservation status
Common.