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Grass of Parnassus

Parnassia palustris

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.

Plant Data

Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Order:
Celastrales
Family:
Celastraceae (Staff Tree)
Also in this family:
Type:
Flower
Life Cycle:
Perennial
Maximum Size:
30 centimetres tall
Habitats:
Bogs, fens, grassland, marshes, moorland, mountains, sand dunes, swamps, waterside, wetland.

Flower:
֍
White, 5 petals
 
This plant is in decline and within the British Isles it is mainly found in Scotland. In the south of England it is virtually non-existent. Grass of Parnassus is also the county flower of Cumbria and is not a grass at all. The flowers are solitary and look like white buttercups. Each flower has 5 sepals which tapers into a point. Flowers have 5 stamens and 4 stigmas.
Fruit:
The fruit is a long, 4-parted capsule.
Leaves:
Perennial with pale green oval leaves. The long-stalked leaves are heart-shaped and similar in appearance to the leaves of Violet. The leaf including the stalk can reach up to 14cm in length.
Aroma:
Grass of Parnassus has a faint smell of honey.
Other Names:
Alaska Grass of Parnassus, Bog-star, Marsh Grass, Marsh Grass-of-Parnassus, Mountain Grass of Parnassus, Northern Grass-of-Parnassus.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  
Similar Species:
Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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