Greater Stitchwort (Stellaria holostea)

At the moment the pretty white flowers of Greater Stitchwort are brightening up the countryside. You will commonly find this slender, delicate wildflower growing in hedgerows, woodland margins, roadside verges and grassy banks.


Greater Stitchwort, Stellaria holostea


Known in English as ‘Wedding cakes,’ Star of Bethlehem’ and ‘Daddy’s-shirt-buttons,’ the elegant white flowers have 5 petals divided to half way down and pale yellow stamens. Flowers of Greater Stitchwort measure 2-3 cm whereas those of its relative, Lesser Stitchwort, are much smaller at about 0.5-1cm.

Greater Stitchwort is called La Stellaire holostée or Langue d’oiseau in French. It has grass like leaves and stems that are square and brittle.

Greater Stitchwort

You will find it flowering from April through to June. Once their seed heads have formed in early summer, you can hear them “popping” as they disperse their seeds into the air ready for the following year.

Before I leave you, a word of caution about this beautiful wildflower. Don’t pick any! In many countries it’s believed that picking Stitchwort will provoke a thunderstorm; you have been warned!

A bientôt

Katherine x




'Greater Stitchwort (Stellaria holostea)' have 2 comments

  1. May 19, 2013 @ 3:23 pm Sarah G

    Thanks Katharine – have seen a few on our walks with Charlie and NIck has wondered what they are. Just wish it woud get a bit warmer.


    • May 20, 2013 @ 7:05 am Katherine

      The weekend has been awful, so cold. I’m surprised anything is bothering to flower! x


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Le Jardin Perdu 2018. All images and posts are the property of Katherine Forshaw

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