Open the Advanced Search

Yellow Bartsia

Parentucellia viscosa

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 Profile

Flowering Months:
Orobanchaceae (Broomrape)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Grassland, heathland, sand dunes, scrub, seaside, wasteland.

Yellow, 2 petals
The inflorescence is a leafy spike of flowers. Each flower has got a long 3-lobed lower lip.
A hairy, egg-shaped capsule. About 1cm long.
An annual stiff plant covered in sticky, glandular hairs. The broadly lanceolate leaves appear together in opposite pairs. The hairy leaves are toothed and unstalked.
Other Names:
Broadleaved Glandweed, Sticky Bartsia, Sticky Parentucellia, Sticky Yellow Bartsia, Tarweed, Yellow Glandweed.
Frequency (UK):

Other Information


Parentucellia viscosa, also known as yellow bartsia or sticky yellow bartsia, is a species of flowering plant that is native to Europe and Asia. It is a member of the figwort family and is known for its small, yellow flowers and hairy, sticky leaves. Parentucellia viscosa is an annual or biennial plant that grows up to 1 meter (3 feet) tall and has a thin, upright stem. The leaves are oblong in shape and are a bright green color, with a sticky, glandular surface that gives the plant its common name. The plant produces small, yellow flowers that are shaped like a funnel and are arranged in clusters. Parentucellia viscosa is found in a variety of habitats, including grasslands, meadows, and along roadsides. It is a popular garden plant and is known for its medicinal properties, with the plant being used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments.


Yellow Bartsia, also known as Parentucellia viscosa, is a type of flowering plant belonging to the Orobanchaceae family. It is a perennial herb that is native to Europe, but is now found throughout the world, including Asia and North America.

The plant is named after the botanist Bartholomew Barts, who was a 16th century herbalist and physician. It is commonly referred to as "yellow bartsia" because of its bright yellow flowers, which bloom in the summer and fall.

Yellow Bartsia grows in a variety of habitats, including meadows, fields, and roadsides. It is a highly adaptable plant, able to grow in a wide range of soils and climates, making it an ideal choice for gardeners.

The plant is known for its medicinal properties, and has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, including colds, flu, and respiratory issues. The leaves and stems of the plant contain a number of compounds, including alkaloids, which are thought to be responsible for its therapeutic effects.

In addition to its medicinal uses, Yellow Bartsia is also a popular ornamental plant, prized for its striking yellow flowers and compact growth habit. It is a great choice for rock gardens, wildflower gardens, or as a border plant.

Despite its popularity, Yellow Bartsia can also be considered an invasive species in some areas, especially in North America. This is because it spreads rapidly and can easily outcompete native plants, disrupting natural ecosystems.

Yellow Bartsia is a distinctive plant that has a tall, slender stem, reaching up to 60 cm in height. The stem is green and covered in fine hairs, and is topped with a dense spike of yellow flowers. The flowers have a tubular shape, and are arranged in clusters along the stem. They are typically 4-6 mm long and have five petals, giving them a distinctive star-like shape.

The leaves of the Yellow Bartsia are opposite and lance-shaped, with a pointed tip. They are typically 10-15 cm long and 2-4 cm wide, and are covered in fine hairs. They are a vibrant green color, and are generally oval or elliptical in shape.

In terms of its growth habit, Yellow Bartsia is a hardy plant that can withstand a variety of conditions. It is tolerant of both dry and damp soils, and can grow in full sun or partial shade. It is a fast-growing plant, and can quickly colonize an area if left unchecked.

Due to its invasiveness, Yellow Bartsia is not recommended for planting in areas where it is not native. If you do choose to grow it, it is important to monitor its growth, and remove any unwanted plants before they have a chance to spread.

Yellow Bartsia is also of interest to botanists and ecologists due to its unique life cycle and relationship with other plants. It is a hemiparasitic plant, which means that it obtains some of its nutrients from the roots of other plants. This allows it to grow in nutrient-poor soils, and to compete with other plants for resources.

Yellow Bartsia is an important food source for several species of insect, including bumblebees and other pollinators. These insects help to pollinate the flowers, which in turn produces seeds that can spread the plant to new areas. This is why it is important to control the spread of Yellow Bartsia in areas where it is not native.

In addition to its role in the ecosystem, Yellow Bartsia has also been used in traditional medicine for centuries. The plant is believed to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic properties, and has been used to treat a wide range of ailments, including colds, flu, and respiratory problems. It is also thought to have sedative and calming effects, making it a useful treatment for anxiety and stress.

In modern times, Yellow Bartsia has been studied for its potential as a natural medicine. While more research is needed to fully understand its medicinal properties, preliminary studies have shown that it may have a number of therapeutic benefits.

In conclusion, Yellow Bartsia is a fascinating and versatile plant that has played an important role in both traditional medicine and the ecosystem. Despite its invasiveness in some areas, it remains an important species of interest for botanists, ecologists, and medical researchers alike.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map