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Marshall's Eyebright

Euphrasia marshallii

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:
Orobanchaceae (Broomrape)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
30 centimetres tall
Grassland, rocky places, sea cliffs, seaside.

White, 5 petals
The flowers are white with a lilac upper lip. The lower lips are 3-lobed. Flowers each measure from 5 to 6mm across.
The fruit is a many-seeded capsule.
A hairy Eyebright species with small oval, toothed, unstalked leaves, in opposite pairs.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Euphrasia marshallii, also known as Marshall's eyebright, is a species of flowering plant in the family Orobanchaceae. It is native to high-elevation regions of western North America, including the Rocky Mountains, Cascades, and Sierra Nevada. It is a small, annual herb with hairy stems, oblong leaves, and small, white or pink flowers with purple veins. Euphrasia marshallii is closely related to Euphrasia frigida, which is also native to western North America. Like other species in the genus Euphrasia, it is sometimes used in traditional medicine as an eye wash to treat eye infections and inflammation. It is also sometimes used to treat respiratory conditions and skin irritation.


Marshall's Eyebright (Euphrasia marshallii) is a beautiful and unique species of flowering plant that is found in the meadows and moors of the United Kingdom. This plant is a member of the Scrophulariaceae family and is closely related to other popular species of Eyebright, including the common Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis).

Marshall's Eyebright is a herbaceous plant that grows to a height of between 10 and 30 centimeters. It is a delicate and slender plant that is easily recognizable by its vibrant green leaves and small, brightly colored flowers. The flowers of this species are typically yellow, with a pinkish-purple ring around the center, and they bloom in the summer months, typically from June to August.

One of the most notable features of Marshall's Eyebright is its ability to grow in nutrient-poor soils, such as those found on moors and in meadows. This is because the plant has evolved to have a deep taproot that allows it to reach down into the soil in search of the nutrients it needs to grow and thrive. This adaptation is particularly important for the survival of this species, as it allows it to grow in areas where other plants might struggle to survive.

Another interesting feature of Marshall's Eyebright is its medicinal properties. For centuries, this plant has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including eye infections, respiratory problems, and digestive issues. The plant contains a range of beneficial compounds, including tannins, flavonoids, and volatile oils, which are believed to be responsible for its therapeutic properties.

Despite its many benefits, Marshall's Eyebright is currently listed as a vulnerable species in the United Kingdom. This is due to the loss of its natural habitats, as well as the increasing popularity of the use of moorlands and meadows for commercial purposes. In order to help protect this species, it is important that we work to conserve the habitats where it grows and encourage the growth of populations of this plant in these areas.

Marshall's Eyebright is a unique and fascinating plant that is an important part of the United Kingdom's natural heritage. With its vibrant flowers, ability to grow in nutrient-poor soils, and medicinal properties, it is easy to see why this species has captured the attention of botanists, ecologists, and herbalists alike. If we work together to protect and conserve its habitats, we can ensure that this beautiful species continues to thrive for generations to come.

In addition to its beauty and medicinal properties, Marshall's Eyebright has a fascinating history of use. It was commonly used by traditional healers in the United Kingdom and Europe to treat a wide range of conditions, including eye infections, headaches, and digestive problems. The plant was also used to treat respiratory conditions, such as bronchitis and asthma, and was believed to have a calming effect on the nervous system.

One of the key components of Marshall's Eyebright is the compound euphrasia, which is believed to be responsible for many of its therapeutic properties. This compound has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antimicrobial effects, which makes it an effective treatment for a range of conditions. Additionally, the plant is rich in antioxidants, which help to protect the body from the damaging effects of free radicals.

Despite its long history of use, Marshall's Eyebright has been the subject of limited scientific research, and much remains to be learned about the full range of its therapeutic benefits. However, recent studies have begun to shed light on the potential of this plant, and have demonstrated its effectiveness in treating a range of conditions, including eye infections, respiratory problems, and digestive issues.

In addition to its medicinal properties, Marshall's Eyebright is also an important food source for a range of wildlife species, including bees, butterflies, and moths. This plant provides a valuable source of nectar and pollen for these insects, and is an important contributor to the overall health and biodiversity of the ecosystems where it grows.

It is worth mentioning that, as with any herbal remedy, it is important to exercise caution when using Marshall's Eyebright. While the plant is generally considered to be safe, it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional before using any new remedy, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition or are taking any medication. Additionally, it is important to use only high-quality, organic products when using this plant, to ensure that you are getting the full range of its benefits.

Marshall's Eyebright is a beautiful and unique plant that has a rich history of use in traditional medicine. With its therapeutic properties, ability to grow in nutrient-poor soils, and importance as a food source for wildlife, it is an important part of our natural heritage and a valuable resource for promoting health and wellness.

Marshall's Eyebright is not just a valuable resource for its medicinal properties, but it is also a beautiful and attractive addition to any garden. It is a small, delicate plant that is easy to care for, and it adds a touch of color and life to any garden or meadow.

The plant prefers to grow in well-drained soils that are rich in organic matter, and it thrives in full sun to partial shade. To plant Marshall's Eyebright in your garden, simply choose a location that provides the right growing conditions and then scatter the seeds on the surface of the soil. Cover the seeds with a light layer of soil and water thoroughly. The seeds will germinate in a few weeks, and the young plants will grow quickly, producing their first flowers in the summer.

If you are interested in using Marshall's Eyebright for its medicinal properties, you can easily grow it in your own garden. Simply harvest the leaves and flowers when the plant is in bloom, and dry them in a warm, well-ventilated area. Once the plant material is dry, you can use it to make a tea or tincture, or you can add it to a bath or compress to soothe sore eyes or other areas of the body.

In addition to growing Marshall's Eyebright in your own garden, you can also support conservation efforts by purchasing products made from this plant that have been sustainably grown and harvested. By doing so, you can help to ensure that this valuable species continues to thrive and be available for future generations to enjoy and benefit from.

In conclusion, Marshall's Eyebright is a versatile and valuable plant that has a lot to offer. Whether you are interested in its medicinal properties, its beauty, or its ability to support wildlife, this plant is a must-have for any garden, meadow, or natural area. With proper care and protection, it will continue to provide benefits for generations to come.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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