Yellow-wort

Blackstonia perfoliata

  1. Wildlife
  2. Wildflowers
  3. Yellow-wort

About

Found on chalk and limestone grasslands and sand dunes, Yellow-wort is a low-growing annual that flowers between June and October. Like other members of the gentian family, its yellow flowers close during the afternoon. Its waxy, bluish-green leaves help the plant to retain water in the arid conditions in which it thrives.

How to identify

Yellow-wort is unmistakeable: look for yellow flowers with six to eight petals, and pointed, bluish-green leaves that appear in opposite pairs but are fused together around the stem.

Where to find it

Found mainly in central and southern England and Wales.

Habitats

When to find it

  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October

How can people help

Areas of rare and unique wildlife, chalk grasslands have been likened to rainforest for the diversity of species they hold. But they are being lost at an alarming rate due to changes in land use causing the decline of grazing: it's estimated that we've lost 80% of our chalk grassland over the last 60 years. The Wildlife Trusts manage many grassland nature reserves for the benefit of the rare wildlife they hold by using traditional management methods such as autumn grazing and scrub clearance. You can help too: volunteer for your local Wildlife Trust and you could be involved in everything from flower surveys to stockwatching.

Species information

Common name
Yellow-wort
Latin name
Blackstonia perfoliata
Category
Wildflowers
Statistics
Height: up to 30cm
Conservation status
Common.