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False Thorow-wax

Bupleurum subovatum

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Apiaceae (Carrot)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
30 centimetres tall
Gardens, grassland, meadows, roadsides, wasteland.

Yellow, 5 petals
The tiny yellow flowers appear in umbels of 2 and 3. They are surrounded by cup-shaped bracts.
Warty fruits, measuring up to 4.5mm in size.
A greyish-green, erect, annual flower with narrowly oval, roundish and smooth leaves. The upper leaves are pierced by the stems. The leaves measure from 2 to 5cm in length and are 3 times as long as wide.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Bupleurum subovatum, also known as Bupleurum falcatum subsp. subovatum, is a perennial herb native to Europe and Asia. It is typically found in grassland, meadows, and disturbed areas such as roadsides and pastures. The plant has a tall, spiky stem and produces small, yellow flowers. It is considered a weed and invasive in some areas, but it is also cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens. This species is used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments, particularly in the traditional Chinese medicine where it is considered to have a bitter, cold and non-toxic properties. The plant is also used to help with digestion, to reduce fever and to detoxify the liver. However, as with any plant with medicinal properties, it is important to consult with a qualified professional before using it.


False Thorow-wax, Bupleurum subovatum: A Dazzling Addition to Your Garden

Bupleurum subovatum, commonly known as False Thorow-wax, is a beautiful and hardy plant that is native to central and southern Europe. This plant is a member of the Apiaceae family and is known for its stunning yellow flowers that bloom in the late summer and early fall.

False Thorow-wax is a herbaceous plant that can grow up to 60 cm tall. It has a fibrous root system and produces linear leaves that are up to 15 cm long and 3 cm wide. The leaves are dark green in color and are covered with soft, silky hairs.

The flowers of False Thorow-wax are the most striking feature of this plant. They are arranged in an umbrella-shaped inflorescence and are yellow in color, with a diameter of 1-2 cm. The flowers are held on tall stems that can reach up to 60 cm in height.

False Thorow-wax is a hardy plant and can be grown in a variety of soils, including alkaline and acidic soils. It prefers well-drained soils and can tolerate drought conditions. It is also very resistant to pests and diseases, making it an ideal plant for low-maintenance gardens.

False Thorow-wax is best grown in full sun, although it can tolerate some shade. It is a great choice for rock gardens, meadows, and wildflower gardens. It can also be used as a cut flower and is popular for use in dried flower arrangements.

If you are looking to add a touch of yellow to your garden this summer, False Thorow-wax is an excellent choice. With its hardiness, beauty, and ease of care, this plant is sure to become a favorite in your garden for years to come.

False Thorow-wax is a delightful addition to any garden. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a beginner, this plant is sure to bring a touch of beauty and joy to your outdoor space.

False Thorow-wax is also a great option for those who are looking for a plant that attracts pollinators. Its yellow flowers are a great source of nectar for bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. By planting False Thorow-wax in your garden, you can not only enhance its beauty, but also contribute to the health of your local ecosystem.

Another great feature of False Thorow-wax is its ability to self-seed. Once established, this plant will produce new plants from seed each year, making it a great option for those who want to create a naturalized area in their garden. However, if you do not want the plant to self-seed, simply deadhead the spent flowers to prevent seed production.

False Thorow-wax is a very versatile plant and can be combined with other perennials and annuals to create a stunning display. Its yellow flowers are a great complement to blue and purple flowers, and it can be planted with other yellow-flowering plants such as coreopsis, echinacea, and gaillardia.

In terms of care, False Thorow-wax is very low-maintenance. It requires minimal watering once established and does not need any fertilizing. Pruning can be done after flowering to encourage bushier growth, but it is not necessary.

False Thorow-wax is a fantastic choice for anyone looking to add a pop of yellow to their garden. Its hardiness, ease of care, and ability to attract pollinators make it a great option for both experienced and novice gardeners.

False Thorow-wax is also a great plant for those who are looking to add some height and structure to their garden. Its tall stems and umbrella-shaped inflorescence can add vertical interest to the garden, making it a great option for planting in the back of borders or along walls and fences.

In addition to its ornamental value, False Thorow-wax also has a number of medicinal uses. The plant has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive problems, menstrual cramps, and skin conditions. The plant contains compounds that are thought to have anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties, making it a useful plant for those interested in herbal medicine.

False Thorow-wax is also a great choice for cut flower arrangements. Its long stems and yellow flowers make it a popular choice for wedding bouquets and centerpieces. When cut and dried, the flowers of False Thorow-wax retain their yellow color, making it a great option for dried flower arrangements.

In terms of propagation, False Thorow-wax is easily propagated from seed or division. If you are growing the plant from seed, it is best to sow the seeds in the fall, as they need a period of cold stratification to germinate. If you are dividing the plant, it is best to do so in the spring or fall, when the plant is dormant.

In conclusion, False Thorow-wax is a fantastic addition to any garden. With its ornamental value, medicinal properties, and ease of care, it is a great option for both experienced and novice gardeners. Whether you are planting it in your garden, using it in cut flower arrangements, or incorporating it into your herbal medicine practices, False Thorow-wax is sure to bring beauty and value to your life.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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