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Large Venus's Looking-glass

Legousia speculum-veneris

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:
Campanulaceae (Bellflower)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
20 centimetres tall
Fields, gardens, rocky places, wasteland, woodland.

Purple, 5 petals
Violet-coloured flowers with a white centre. Similar in appearance to Venus's Looking Glass (Legousia hybrida) but the flowers are much larger. The flowers are 1.5 to 2cm across in diameter.
A very long fruit capsule, 10 to 15mm in length. The elliptical seeds are brown and shiny, about 1.5mm long.
An annual wild or garden escape species whose leaves are oval and long-stalked at the base. Often seen growing in cornfields.
Other Names:
European Venus' Looking Glass, Lady's Looking-glass, Looking Glass.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Legousia speculum-veneris, also known as Venus's Looking-glass, is a perennial herb that is native to Europe and Asia. It is a member of the Campanulaceae family and is known for its attractive blue, violet, or white star-shaped flowers that bloom in the summer. It is a low growing plant, reaching up to 20cm in height. It is not commonly used for medicinal or other practical purposes, and there is little scientific research on its potential benefits. It is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens, rock gardens, and borders, and it prefers well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. It is considered as a threatened species in some countries and is protected by law.


Large Venus's Looking Glass (Legousia speculum-veneris) is a beautiful and unique wildflower that is native to Europe. It is also known as Venus' Mirror and is a member of the Campanulaceae family.

The plant is known for its large, bright blue or purple flowers that resemble small bells and are held aloft on tall stems. The flowers are born in large clusters and bloom in the summer, attracting numerous insects and pollinators.

Legousia speculum-veneris is a perennials and is highly prized by gardeners for its showy display of color. It prefers to grow in damp meadows and along the edges of streams or rivers. It is relatively easy to care for and can be grown in a variety of soils, as long as they are well-drained.

One of the most striking features of Large Venus's Looking Glass is its leaves, which are large, rounded and deep green in color. They form a rosette at the base of the plant and provide a lush background for the stunning flowers.

The plant is also highly fragrant, with a sweet aroma that is especially noticeable in the evening. This makes it a popular choice for gardeners who are looking for a plant that will attract butterflies, bees, and other pollinators.

Large Venus's Looking Glass is a beautiful and unique wildflower that is well worth growing in your garden. Its striking flowers, fragrant aroma, and ease of care make it a popular choice for gardeners, and its ability to attract pollinators is an added bonus. Whether you are looking for a plant for a damp meadow or a border, this plant is sure to bring a touch of beauty and color to your garden.

In addition to its ornamental value, Large Venus's Looking Glass also has some historical and cultural significance. In folklore, it was believed that the plant could be used as a love charm, and that it was particularly effective if given to someone as a gift.

In herbal medicine, the plant has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including skin conditions and respiratory problems. The plant contains compounds that are believed to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, making it a useful plant for home remedies.

Despite its many uses and benefits, Large Venus's Looking Glass is considered to be a threatened species in some parts of Europe, where it is facing habitat loss and over-collecting. This is why it is important for gardeners to grow this plant from seed or cuttings, rather than harvesting it from the wild.

Large Venus's Looking Glass is a unique and beautiful wildflower that has much to offer. Whether you are looking for a plant to add to your garden, a natural remedy, or a symbol of love, this plant is sure to satisfy. With its bright flowers, fragrant aroma, and cultural significance, it is a must-have for any wildflower enthusiast.

Aside from its ornamental value, Large Venus's Looking Glass is also a valuable plant for wildlife. As previously mentioned, its bright flowers are a major attraction for pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The nectar produced by the flowers provides a valuable food source for these creatures, making this plant an important contributor to the health of local ecosystems.

It is also an important plant for other wildlife, such as birds and small mammals. The leaves and stems provide shelter and nesting sites, while the seeds are a food source for many species. In this way, Large Venus's Looking Glass plays a vital role in supporting biodiversity and maintaining the balance of local ecosystems.

When growing Large Venus's Looking Glass in your garden, it is important to take care not to over-water the plant, as it prefers well-drained soil. It also prefers full sun to partial shade, and can tolerate a range of temperatures. With proper care, this plant can thrive for many years and provide a stunning display of color in your garden.

In conclusion, Large Venus's Looking Glass is much more than just a beautiful wildflower. It is a valuable contributor to local ecosystems, providing food and shelter for wildlife and helping to maintain biodiversity. Whether you are growing it for its ornamental value, for its historical and cultural significance, or for its role in supporting wildlife, this plant is sure to make a positive impact in your garden.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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