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Foula Eyebright

Euphrasia foulaensis

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Orobanchaceae (Broomrape)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
50 centimetres tall
Grassland, meadows, saltmarshes, sea cliffs, seaside.

Variable in colour, 5 petals
The flowers of Foula Eyebright are deep violet or white. Flowers each measure 4 to 6mm across.
A capsule.
Foula Eyebright is a short plant with deep green leaves. The leaves are compact, roundish and fleshy. They may be hairy or glabrous. Grows mainly on damp turf.
Other Names:
Seaside Eyebright.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Euphrasia foulaensis is a species of flowering plant in the family Orobanchaceae. It is native to the island of Foula, which is part of the Shetland Islands in Scotland. The plant is known for its medicinal properties and 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 on the island of Foula.


Foula Eyebright, also known as Euphrasia foulaensis, is a species of eyebright that is native to the remote island of Foula, located in the Shetland Islands of Scotland. This unique species of eyebright is known for its medicinal properties and has been used for centuries to treat eye conditions such as conjunctivitis and styes.

Euphrasia foulaensis is a small, hardy plant that grows in the rocky, windswept landscapes of Foula. It has delicate, white flowers with yellow and purple markings and is known for its ability to thrive in difficult conditions. This resilience is thought to be the reason for its potent medicinal properties, which have made it a valued natural remedy for eye conditions.

Eyebright has been used for centuries to treat a range of eye conditions, including conjunctivitis, styes, and other infections. It is believed that the compounds in eyebright have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, which make it an effective treatment for eye infections. The plant is typically harvested in the summer, when its active compounds are at their peak, and is dried for later use.

In traditional Scottish medicine, Foula Eyebright was used as a cure-all for eye conditions and was highly prized for its effectiveness. It was often combined with other herbs and plants to create potent natural remedies that were used to treat a wide range of ailments. Today, Foula Eyebright is still used in traditional and modern medicine and is widely recognized for its medicinal properties.

Foula Eyebright is a unique and valuable species of eyebright that is native to the Shetland Islands of Scotland. Its medicinal properties have been used for centuries to treat eye conditions such as conjunctivitis and styes, and it is still valued today for its effectiveness. If you're interested in natural remedies for eye conditions, consider incorporating Foula Eyebright into your health regimen.

Foula Eyebright is not just valued for its medicinal properties but also for its rarity and significance in the botanical world. The Foula island is home to a unique and diverse range of plant species, many of which are not found anywhere else in the world. Foula Eyebright is one of the most important of these rare species and is considered to be a valuable resource for botanists and ecologists.

In recent years, there has been growing concern about the conservation of Foula Eyebright and other rare plant species in Scotland. The Shetland Islands are facing a range of environmental challenges, including habitat loss, climate change, and the introduction of non-native species. This has put many of the unique plant species on the islands at risk of extinction, including Foula Eyebright.

To help preserve this important species, there are now efforts underway to protect its habitats and conserve its populations. This includes habitat restoration, control of non-native species, and the implementation of sustainable land management practices. In addition, research is being conducted to better understand the ecology and biology of Foula Eyebright and its role in the ecosystem.

Foula Eyebright is a unique and valuable species that has a rich history of use in traditional medicine and is an important part of Scotland's botanical heritage. With ongoing efforts to protect its habitats and conserve its populations, we can ensure that this rare species continues to thrive for generations to come. If you're interested in supporting the conservation of Foula Eyebright and other rare plant species, consider supporting organizations that work to protect the Shetland Islands and its unique flora.

Foula Eyebright is also of interest to the modern pharmaceutical industry, which is exploring the potential uses of traditional medicinal plants in the development of new drugs. The compounds found in Euphrasia foulaensis have been found to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which have led to research into its potential use as a natural remedy for eye conditions.

However, the use of Foula Eyebright in modern medicine is still in its early stages and further research is needed to fully understand its potential benefits. Nevertheless, the growing recognition of the value of traditional medicinal plants is encouraging, and there is hope that Foula Eyebright and other species like it will play a role in the development of new, effective treatments for a range of health conditions.

In addition to its potential medicinal uses, Foula Eyebright is also an important part of the cultural heritage of Scotland. The traditional use of this plant in Shetland folklore and medicine is an important part of the region's history and is deeply tied to the unique landscape and culture of the Shetland Islands.

In conclusion, Foula Eyebright is a unique and fascinating species that is of interest for its medicinal properties, its significance in the botanical world, and its cultural heritage. With ongoing efforts to protect and conserve this important plant, we can ensure that its benefits are available for future generations to enjoy. If you're interested in learning more about Foula Eyebright and other traditional medicinal plants, consider reading up on the subject or visiting the Shetland Islands to experience its beauty and significance firsthand.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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