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Falcaria vulgaris

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:
Apiaceae (Carrot)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
70 centimetres tall
Cliffs, fields, grassland, riverbanks, roadsides, rocky places, scrub, wasteland.

White, 5 petals
Long-stalked flowers, appearing in small umbels.
The fruits are oblong and rarely ripen.
A hairless biennial or perennial with long, strap-like leaflets. The leaflets are toothed leaflets, up to 3cm long each. Patch-forming.
Other Names:
Sickle-leaved Scythewort, Sickleweed, Sicklewort.
Frequency (UK):

Other Information


Falcaria vulgaris, also known as sickle-leaved scythewort or sicklewort, is a species of perennial herb that is native to Europe. It is known for its small, yellow flowers that bloom in the summer and its narrow, sickle-shaped leaves. The plant can grow up to 70 cm in height. It prefers well-drained soils and full sun to partial shade, and it is often found in dry, rocky or sandy habitats. Falcaria vulgaris is not commonly grown as an ornamental plant, but it may be used in wildflower gardens or in naturalized settings. The plant is also used in traditional medicine, it is believed to have medicinal properties such as a diuretic and antispasmodic.


Longleaf, Falcaria vulgaris, is a herbaceous plant that is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It belongs to the family Apiaceae, which is also known as the carrot family. Longleaf is also commonly known as wild carrot, but it should not be confused with the edible root vegetable that is also called carrot.

Longleaf is a perennial plant that grows up to 70 cm tall. It has a slender, erect stem with finely divided leaves that are arranged in a rosette at the base of the plant. The leaves are hairy and have a distinctive feathery appearance. Longleaf produces small, white or pale yellow flowers that are arranged in umbels, which are flat-topped clusters of flowers that radiate from a central point.

One of the interesting characteristics of Longleaf is its adaptation to harsh environments. It is a hardy plant that can survive in dry, rocky soils and can tolerate extreme temperatures and drought conditions. This makes it a valuable plant for stabilizing slopes and preventing soil erosion.

Longleaf has been used in traditional medicine for a variety of purposes. The plant contains a range of bioactive compounds, including coumarins, flavonoids, and essential oils. These compounds have anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and diuretic properties, which make Longleaf useful for treating a range of conditions, including urinary tract infections, digestive disorders, and menstrual cramps.

In addition to its medicinal properties, Longleaf is also used as a food source. The leaves of the plant can be cooked and eaten like spinach, and the seeds can be roasted and ground into a coffee substitute. Longleaf is also a valuable source of nectar for bees and other pollinators.

Despite its many benefits, Longleaf is considered an invasive species in some parts of the world. The plant is known for its ability to colonize disturbed areas and can quickly establish itself in grasslands, meadows, and other habitats. In some cases, Longleaf can outcompete native plant species and disrupt ecosystems.

Longleaf is a fascinating plant that has a range of uses and adaptations. As with any plant, it is important to consider its potential impact on the environment before introducing it to new areas. With proper management, Longleaf can be a valuable resource for both humans and the natural world.

Longleaf, Falcaria vulgaris, is a highly adaptable plant that has been used for various purposes throughout history. The plant is sometimes called wild carrot, but it is not the same as the edible carrot that is commonly consumed today. Here are some additional facts about Longleaf:

  1. Longleaf is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa but has been introduced to other parts of the world, including North America and Australia.

  2. The plant is also known by other common names, including Persian hogweed, yellow hogweed, and devil's plague.

  3. Longleaf has a long history of use in traditional medicine. It has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including kidney stones, rheumatism, and bronchitis.

  4. The essential oil extracted from Longleaf has a characteristic smell that is similar to that of carrot seed oil. It is used in perfumes, soaps, and other cosmetic products.

  5. Longleaf is a valuable plant for pollinators, including bees and butterflies. The plant produces nectar and pollen, which provide a food source for these insects.

  6. Longleaf can be used as a cover crop to protect soil from erosion and improve soil quality. The plant's deep roots help to break up compacted soil and improve drainage.

  7. Longleaf is sometimes used as a natural dye. The plant's leaves can be boiled in water to produce a yellow dye that can be used to color fabrics and other materials.

  8. Longleaf has been studied for its potential anticancer properties. The plant contains compounds that have been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in vitro.

In conclusion, Longleaf is a versatile plant that has been used for a variety of purposes throughout history. While it can be invasive in some areas, with proper management, it can be a valuable resource for both humans and the natural world.

More Information about Longleaf

Here are some additional pieces of information about Longleaf, Falcaria vulgaris:

  1. Longleaf is a self-fertile plant, which means it can produce seeds without the need for pollination by other plants.

  2. The seeds of Longleaf are dispersed by wind and can remain viable in the soil for up to five years.

  3. Longleaf is a biennial plant, meaning it completes its life cycle over two growing seasons.

  4. The plant has a taproot that can reach a depth of up to 1.5 meters, which makes it well-suited for growing in dry, rocky soils.

  5. Longleaf is a good source of vitamin C, calcium, and iron. The plant's leaves can be eaten raw or cooked and have a slightly bitter taste.

  6. Longleaf is sometimes used as a natural insecticide. The plant contains compounds that are toxic to certain insects, including aphids and spider mites.

  7. Longleaf has been used in folk medicine as a diuretic and to treat kidney stones. Some research has supported these traditional uses, showing that Longleaf can increase urine output and may help to prevent the formation of kidney stones.

  8. Longleaf has also been studied for its potential use in treating diabetes. One study found that Longleaf extract lowered blood sugar levels in diabetic rats, although more research is needed to determine its effectiveness in humans.

  9. Longleaf is sometimes used in cosmetics and skin care products. The plant's essential oil is thought to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can be beneficial for the skin.

Overall, Longleaf is a plant with many interesting characteristics and potential uses. While it can be invasive in some areas, it also has many beneficial properties that make it a valuable resource for human use and for the environment.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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