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Common Slender Eyebright

Euphrasia micrantha

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Orobanchaceae (Broomrape)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
50 centimetres tall
Grassland, heathland, meadows, moorland, wasteland.

Purple, 5 petals
The flowers are about 4 to 7mm wide and are lilac or purple. The 3-lobed lower lip of the flower is occasionally white.
The fruit is a capsule.
An annual flower which frequently grows among heather. The unstalked leaves are oval with toothed margins. The leaves grow in opposite pairs along the stems are are often tinged purple but are normally green.
Other Names:
Northern Eyebright, Purple-stemmed Eyebright, Slender Heath Eyebright.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Euphrasia micrantha 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 15-50 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.


Common Slender Eyebright (Euphrasia micrantha) is a beautiful and unique plant that is widely distributed throughout the world. This plant is a member of the Scrophulariaceae family and is found in temperate regions of Europe, Asia, and North America.

One of the most striking features of this plant is its delicate and slender appearance. The stems grow to a height of 10 to 30 cm, and are lined with tiny, slender leaves that give the plant a delicate look. The leaves are usually oval in shape and have a slightly glossy texture, which makes them quite appealing.

The flowers of Common Slender Eyebright are equally stunning. They are small, but bright and cheerful, with an overall yellowish-green color. The flowers are arranged in spikes, and they bloom from mid-summer to early autumn. They are a favorite of many insects and birds, which makes this plant a valuable addition to any wildlife garden.

Another unique characteristic of this plant is its traditional use in herbal medicine. Eyebrights have been used for centuries to treat eye infections and other eye problems, hence the name "eyebright." The plant contains several active compounds, including iridoids, flavonoids, and phenols, which have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Some studies have also suggested that it may have potential as a natural remedy for certain conditions such as cataracts, conjunctivitis, and other eye disorders.

Despite its many benefits, Common Slender Eyebright is not commonly grown in gardens, perhaps because it can be quite difficult to propagate. This plant does best in well-drained soils in areas with plenty of sunlight, but it can also tolerate some shade. It can be grown from seed or cuttings, but it can be difficult to get the plants to establish themselves, especially if they are grown in areas with harsh climates.

In conclusion, Common Slender Eyebright is a delicate and beautiful plant that is not only lovely to look at but also has many health benefits. This plant is ideal for gardens, especially those that are designed to attract wildlife, and it can also be a valuable addition to any herb garden. If you are interested in growing this plant, be sure to give it the proper care and attention it needs, and you will be rewarded with a beautiful and unique addition to your garden.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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