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Caucasian Crosswort

Phuopsis stylosa

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Rubiaceae (Bedstraw)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
75 centimetres tall
Gardens, grassland, meadows, roadsides, wasteland.

Pink, 5 petals
Pink tubular flowers in globular pincushion-like clusters. 5 petal lobes.
A pair of nutlets, hairless.
Narrowly elliptical leaves in whorls of 6 to 9 along the upright square stems.
Leaves and flowers are aromatic, smells of cannabis.
Other Names:
Creeping Crosswort, Dwarf Pygmywort, Large-styled Crosswort, Phuopsis, Skunk Plant.
Frequency (UK):

Other Information


Phuopsis stylosa, also known as the dwarf pygmywort, is a small perennial herb that is native to Europe. It has small, hairy leaves and purple or pink flowers that bloom in the summer. The plant is often found growing in grassy meadows, roadside verges, and other open, sunny areas. It is a hardy plant that is relatively easy to grow and can tolerate a range of soil conditions. It is also resistant to pests and diseases. In gardens, Phuopsis stylosa can be used as an edging plant or as part of a mixed border. It is also attractive to bees and other pollinators.


If you're looking for a beautiful and low-maintenance flower to add to your garden, you may want to consider the Caucasian Crosswort (Phuopsis stylosa). This stunning flower is native to the Caucasus Mountains in Europe and is a member of the mint family. It's also known by its other names, such as "stylo" or "whorled phuopsis."

One of the most attractive features of the Caucasian Crosswort is its delicate, star-shaped flowers. The flowers come in shades of pink, lavender, and blue, and bloom from late spring to early summer. They are held in clusters on upright stems and are surrounded by lance-shaped leaves, which are typically green in color.

Another great aspect of the Caucasian Crosswort is that it's very easy to care for. It's a hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions, from full sun to partial shade. It also prefers well-drained soil and is drought tolerant, so it's an ideal choice for those who want a low-maintenance garden.

The Caucasian Crosswort is a great choice for both rock gardens and mixed borders. It's also a good option for cut flower arrangements as the flowers are long-lasting and have a delicate fragrance. When planting, it's important to provide enough space between each plant, as they can grow up to 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide.

In addition to its beauty, the Caucasian Crosswort is also deer and rabbit resistant, making it a good option for those who want to keep these pests out of their garden. It's also a great choice for butterfly gardens, as it attracts a variety of pollinators.

Overall, the Caucasian Crosswort is a stunning flower that adds color and beauty to any garden. With its delicate flowers, easy-to-care-for nature, and ability to attract pollinators, it's a great choice for anyone looking to add a touch of elegance to their garden.

In addition to its ornamental value, the Caucasian Crosswort has also been used for medicinal purposes. In traditional medicine, the plant has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including headaches, digestive issues, and skin conditions. It's also been used as a natural remedy for wound healing and as a diuretic to help increase urine flow.

The plant contains a number of compounds that are believed to contribute to its medicinal properties, including flavonoids, terpenoids, and phenolic acids. However, it's important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the medicinal properties of the Caucasian Crosswort and to determine its safety and effectiveness.

In cultivation, the Caucasian Crosswort is relatively easy to grow from seeds or cuttings. To grow from seed, simply sow the seeds in a well-drained soil in the spring and keep the soil moist until germination. Cuttings can be taken in the summer and rooted in a pot of sand or soil. Once the plant has established itself, it can be planted in the garden.

To maintain its beauty, the Caucasian Crosswort should be deadheaded regularly to encourage continued blooming. It can also be trimmed back after flowering to keep it from getting too leggy. If desired, it can also be divided in the spring to promote healthy growth.

It's worth mentioning that the Caucasian Crosswort is not only a popular garden plant, but it's also a valuable component of natural ecosystems. In its native habitat, it provides important food and habitat for various species of wildlife, including insects, birds, and small mammals.

The plant is also known to be important for soil conservation and erosion control. Its deep roots help to stabilize the soil and prevent soil erosion, making it an important plant for preserving natural habitats.

In terms of its cultural significance, the Caucasian Crosswort has a rich history in folklore and mythology. In ancient times, it was believed to have magical properties and was used in various rituals and ceremonies. It was also believed to have protective qualities and was often used as a talisman to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck.

In modern times, the Caucasian Crosswort is still widely used in traditional medicine and is often considered a symbol of health, happiness, and longevity. It's also a popular ornamental plant and is often used in public parks and gardens, as well as in private landscapes.

Overall, the Caucasian Crosswort is a beautiful, versatile, and valuable plant that has much to offer in terms of ornamental beauty, cultural significance, and ecological value. Whether you're a gardener looking to add a touch of beauty to your outdoor space, or someone interested in the natural world and its cultural significance, the Caucasian Crosswort is well worth exploring.