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English Sticky Eyebright

Euphrasia anglica

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Orobanchaceae (Broomrape)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
20 centimetres tall
Fields, grassland, heathland, meadows, moorland.

Blue, 5 petals
Leafy flower spikes. The flowers are lilac with a yellow centre. The lower lip is 3-lobed and sometimes white. Flowers each measure 6 to 8mm across.
Hairy fruit.
A straggling annual flower with dark green, oval leaves, covered in dense, long, glandular hairs. Leaf margins are toothed.
Other Names:
Common Eyebright, English Eyebright, Glandular Eyebright, Small-flowered Sticky Eyebright, Sticky Eyebright.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Euphrasia anglica, also known as English eyebright or common eyebright, is a species of flowering plant in the family Orobanchaceae. It is native to Europe and is known for its medicinal properties. The plant is used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including eye irritation, conjunctivitis, and other eye disorders. It is also used to treat respiratory and digestive problems. It is a perennial herb that grows to be about 15-20 cm tall, with small pink or purple flowers. The leaves are oblong in shape and grow in opposite pairs. The plant is commonly found in grassy meadows and pastures.


English Sticky Eyebright, scientifically known as Euphrasia anglica, is a wildflower species that belongs to the Orobanchaceae family. It is native to the UK, Ireland and parts of Europe, and is commonly found growing in damp meadows, pastures, and marshes.

The plant is a small herb that can grow up to 20 cm in height and is easily recognizable by its sticky, hairy stems and leaves. Its leaves are narrow and lance-shaped, and its small, five-petaled flowers are usually yellow or white in color, with purple markings around the central eye. The plant blooms from June to September and is a popular source of nectar for bees and other pollinators.

In traditional herbal medicine, Eyebright has been used for centuries to treat a variety of eye conditions, including conjunctivitis, blepharitis, and styes. The plant contains a number of active compounds, including tannins, iridoid glycosides, and flavonoids, which are believed to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

In addition to its use as an eye remedy, Eyebright has also been traditionally used to treat respiratory conditions such as sinusitis, hay fever, and bronchitis. The plant's anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties are thought to help soothe inflamed airways and promote the removal of mucus from the lungs.

However, it's important to note that there is limited scientific evidence to support the use of Eyebright for these conditions, and more research is needed to fully understand its effectiveness. If you're considering using Eyebright for medicinal purposes, it's always best to speak with a healthcare provider first to determine if it's right for you and to ensure that you're using it safely and correctly.

English Sticky Eyebright is a fascinating and versatile plant that has a long history of use in traditional medicine. Its small, delicate flowers and sticky, hairy leaves make it a charming addition to any wildflower garden, and its medicinal properties make it a valuable herb for those interested in natural health and wellness.

English Sticky Eyebright is also a popular ingredient in skincare products due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The plant's active compounds are believed to help soothe irritated skin, reduce redness and puffiness, and protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. Some skincare products containing Eyebright extract are marketed as treatments for skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema, and acne, and many people report that they have seen positive results when using these products.

In addition to its use in skincare products, Eyebright is also sometimes used as a natural remedy for digestive complaints. The plant's anti-inflammatory properties are thought to help soothe an inflamed digestive tract and reduce symptoms such as bloating, gas, and indigestion. Some people also use Eyebright tea as a mild laxative to help relieve constipation.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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