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Samolus valerandi

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.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Primulaceae (Primrose)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
45 centimetres tall
Ditches, marshes, meadows, riversides, saltmarshes, sea cliffs, seaside, water, wetland.

White, 5 petals
Flower spikes (racemes). Each flower has an inward bending long stalk and is about 2 to 4mm across. The bend in the stalk has a tiny, pointed bract. Triangular but blunt-pointed sepals. Orange heart-shaped anthers. Yellow pollen.
Green globular fruit capsules containing many reddish-brown seeds. The seeds ripen from July to August.
A hairless, normally unbranched flower with pale green, fleshy, upright, spoon-shaped leaves. The oval leaves remain close to the stems. The basal leaves are the largest. The stem leaves are alternately positioned going up the stem. Deciduous, short-lived perennial. Most frequently found near the sea but often inland too. Can sometimes grow in shallow water.
Other Names:
Brookweed, Seaside Brookweed, Thin-leaf Brookweed, Water Cabbage, Water Pimpernel, Water Rose.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Other Information


Samolus valerandi, also known as brookweed or water pimpernel, is a species of flowering plant in the plantain family. It is native to North and South America, and is commonly found in wet, marshy areas and along the edges of streams and ponds. It is a small, herbaceous plant that grows to about 15 cm in height and has small, glossy leaves and clusters of tiny, white flowers. It is often used in gardens as an ornamental plant and is valued for its ability to thrive in wet soil and help to control erosion. It is easy to grow and requires little maintenance.


Brookweed, also known as Samolus valerandi, is a small herbaceous plant native to North America, Europe, and Asia. It is commonly found growing along stream banks, in marshes, and in other moist environments.

This plant is known for its small, delicate white or pink flowers that bloom from May to September. The flowers are followed by small, juicy fruits that are edible and sometimes used to make jellies and jams. Brookweed has a compact and spreading habit and forms dense mats of vegetation in its natural habitat.

In addition to its ornamental value, brookweed is also used for its medicinal properties. It has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, including kidney and bladder problems, as well as skin conditions. Brookweed is also believed to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, making it a useful herb for treating infections and wounds.

One of the main advantages of brookweed is its ability to tolerate wet and marshy soils, making it an ideal choice for gardeners looking to create a water-loving landscape. It can be planted in water or in soil that is consistently moist, and it will thrive in these conditions. Brookweed is also a low maintenance plant, requiring very little care and attention once established.

Brookweed is a plant that is relatively easy to propagate, making it an ideal choice for those interested in growing their own plants from seeds or cuttings. It can be propagated by seeds or by dividing the clumps of the plant. When grown from seeds, it is important to keep the soil consistently moist to encourage germination.

In addition to its medicinal properties, brookweed has also been used for its ecological benefits. This plant is known to support a variety of wildlife, including birds, insects, and other pollinators, making it an excellent choice for those interested in creating a wildlife-friendly garden.

Another interesting characteristic of brookweed is its ability to grow in partially shaded areas. While this plant prefers full sun to partial shade, it can still thrive in areas where it receives dappled light or partial shade throughout the day. This makes it a versatile option for those looking to create a landscape or garden in an area with limited sunlight.

It is also worth noting that brookweed is a non-invasive plant, making it an excellent choice for those who are concerned about the spread of invasive species in their area. Unlike many invasive species, brookweed is well-behaved and will not spread beyond its designated area in the garden, making it an ideal choice for gardeners who are looking for a low-maintenance and eco-friendly option.

In terms of care and maintenance, brookweed is a low-maintenance plant that requires very little attention once established. It is important to keep the soil consistently moist to ensure that the plant thrives, but other than that, brookweed is a hardy and resilient plant that can adapt to a variety of growing conditions.

In terms of pests and diseases, brookweed is relatively resistant to most common problems that can affect plants. However, it is important to keep an eye out for slugs and snails, which can damage the leaves and stems of the plant. Additionally, if the soil becomes too dry or if the plant is grown in water that is too stagnant, it can be susceptible to fungal infections.

When planting brookweed, it is important to choose a site that is well-drained and consistently moist. The plant will grow best in soil that is rich in organic matter and that has a neutral to slightly acidic pH. When planting in water, it is important to choose a location that is shallow enough for the plant to receive adequate light, but deep enough to provide a stable base.

Overall, brookweed is a fascinating and valuable plant that offers a range of benefits for those interested in gardening, landscaping, and traditional remedies. Whether you are looking to create a beautiful water-loving garden, or you are interested in incorporating traditional remedies into your healthcare routine, brookweed is an excellent choice that is sure to add value to your landscape or garden.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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