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Isle of Man Cabbage

Coincya monensis

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Brassicaceae (Cabbage)
Also in this family:
Alpine Pennycress, Alpine Rock-cress, American Wintercress, Annual Wall Rocket, Austrian Yellowcress, Awlwort, Bastard Cabbage, Black Mustard, Bristol Rock-cress, Charlock, Common Scurvygrass, Common Whitlowgrass, Coralroot, Creeping Yellowcress, Cuckooflower, Dame's-violet, Danish Scurvygrass, Dittander, Early Wintercress, Eastern Rocket, English Scurvygrass, Evergreen Candytuft, False London Rocket, Field Pennycress, Field Pepperwort, Flixweed, Garden Arabis, Garden Candytuft, Garden Cress, Garden Radish, Garden Rocket, Garlic Mustard, Glabrous Whitlowgrass, Gold of Pleasure, Great Yellowcress, Greater Cuckooflower, Greater Periwinkle, Greater Swinecress, Hairy Bittercress, Hairy Rock-cress, Hairy Rocket, Hairy Whitlowgrass, Hedge Mustard, Hoary Cress, Hoary Mustard, Hoary Stock, Hoary Whitlowgrass, Honesty, Horseradish, Hutchinsia, Hybrid Watercress, Intermediate Periwinkle, Large Bittercress, Lesser Swinecress, London Rocket, Lundy Cabbage, Marsh Yellowcress, Mountain Scurvygrass, Narrow-fruited Watercress, Narrow-leaved Bittercress, Narrow-leaved Pepperwort, Northern Rock-cress, Northern Yellowcress, Oilseed Rape, Perennial Rocket, Perennial Wall Rocket, Perfoliate Pennycress, Pinnate Coralroot, Purple Rock-cress, Pyrenean Scurvygrass, Rock Whitlowgrass, Russian Rocket, Scottish Scurvygrass, Sea Kale, Sea Radish, Sea Rocket, Sea Stock, Shepherd's Cress, Shepherd's Purse, Small-flowered Wintercress, Smith's Pepperwort, Steppe Cabbage, Swede, Sweet Alyssum, Tall Rocket, Thale Cress, Tower Mustard, Treacle Mustard, Trefoil Cress, Turnip, Wall Whitlowgrass, Wallflower, Wallflower Cabbage, Warty Cabbage, Watercress, Wavy Bittercress, White Mustard, Wild Cabbage, Wild Candytuft, Wild Radish, Wild Turnip, Wintercress, Woad, Yellow Whitlowgrass
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Beaches, cliffs, fields, hedgerows, meadows, roadsides, sand dunes, sea cliffs, seaside.

Yellow, 4 petals
Bright yellow flowers with pale brown veins, 2 to 2.5cm in size. Pollinated by insects.
The fruit is a cylindrical pod, waisted and beaked. The seeds form a single row within the beak of the fruit.
The glossy, pinnate leaves are dark green to greyish and form a basal rosette at the base of the plant. Stem leaves are absent. Isle of Man Cabbage is difficult to identify by the flower alone. However, it's narrow lobes of the pinnate leaves make it distinguishable from other similar species.
Other Names:
Mont Blanc Rock-cress.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Coincya monensis, also known as Mont Blanc rock-cress, is a species of flowering plant in the cabbage family. It is native to Europe and is commonly found in mountainous regions. The plant is known for its small, white flowers and hairy leaves. It grows well in rocky or gravelly soils and is often found in alpine meadows and cliffs. Coincya monensis is a low-growing plant that forms a mat-like shape and can spread to form large clumps. It is commonly cultivated as an ornamental plant and is valued for its attractive flowers and ability to thrive in difficult growing conditions. The plant is also used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments.


The Isle of Man Cabbage, also known as Coincya monensis, is a unique plant species that can only be found in the Isle of Man, a small island located in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland. This hardy plant has been a staple of the Isle of Man's ecosystem for centuries and is highly prized for its ability to thrive in the harsh, windswept terrain of the island.

Coincya monensis is a member of the brassica family, which includes other well-known plants such as broccoli and cauliflower. This plant has a distinctive appearance, with thick, fleshy leaves that are a deep green color and are covered in a waxy coating to protect them from the harsh winds. The leaves are arranged in a rosette pattern, with the center of the rosette being the most protected and sheltered part of the plant.

One of the key adaptations that has allowed Coincya monensis to thrive on the Isle of Man is its ability to grow in soil that is low in nutrients. The plant has a deep taproot that enables it to reach nutrient-rich soil that other plants cannot access. This taproot also helps to anchor the plant to the ground, allowing it to withstand the strong winds that are common on the island.

The Isle of Man Cabbage has a long history of use by the local people. The leaves of the plant have been used for food for centuries, and were a staple part of the islanders' diet during the lean times when other food was scarce. The plant is also believed to have medicinal properties and was used to treat a variety of ailments, such as digestive problems and skin conditions.

Today, Coincya monensis is protected by the Isle of Man government and is recognized as a rare and valuable species. Conservation efforts are underway to ensure that this unique plant species continues to thrive on the island. Efforts include protecting and preserving the habitats where Coincya monensis grows, and working with local communities to promote sustainable use of the plant.

The Isle of Man Cabbage is a remarkable plant species that is well adapted to the harsh conditions of the Isle of Man. This plant has a rich history of use by the local people and is an important part of the island's ecosystem and cultural heritage. Efforts are underway to ensure that this unique plant species continues to thrive for generations to come.

Additionally, Coincya monensis is of great interest to botanists and plant enthusiasts due to its unique adaptations and distinctive appearance. The plant has been the subject of numerous studies, and researchers are still learning more about its biology and ecology.

Another interesting aspect of Coincya monensis is its role in the Isle of Man's folklore and legends. For example, it is said that the plant was used by the island's ancient inhabitants to ward off evil spirits, and it is still considered to have mystical properties by some people on the island today.

Despite its importance and value, the Isle of Man Cabbage is still under threat from habitat loss and degradation. Human activities such as development, tourism, and the spread of non-native plant species can all have a negative impact on the plant's population and its ability to thrive.

To help protect Coincya monensis, it is important for everyone to be aware of the plant's unique value and to take steps to conserve its habitat. This can include things like reducing the impact of human activities in the areas where the plant grows, promoting the use of sustainable land-use practices, and planting more Coincya monensis in areas where the population is declining.

The Isle of Man Cabbage is a truly remarkable and unique plant species that is well worth learning more about. Whether you are a botanist, a plant enthusiast, or just someone who appreciates the beauty and diversity of nature, this plant is sure to capture your imagination and leave you with a deep appreciation for the wonders of the natural world.

Additionally, the preservation of the Isle of Man Cabbage is not only important for the plant species itself but also for the wider ecosystem of the Isle of Man. The plant provides habitat and food for a variety of wildlife, including insects, birds, and small mammals. Its loss would have a cascading effect on the ecosystem, potentially impacting other plant and animal species that rely on it.

The Isle of Man Cabbage also has cultural significance for the people of the Isle of Man. It is a symbol of the island's unique identity and heritage, and its preservation is an important part of preserving the cultural heritage of the island.

There are many ways to support the conservation of Coincya monensis. For example, individuals can support organizations and initiatives working to preserve the plant's habitat, such as conservation groups and botanical gardens. They can also learn more about the plant and spread awareness of its importance, as well as encourage others to support conservation efforts.

In conclusion, the Isle of Man Cabbage is a unique and valuable species that is worth protecting and preserving. By working together to conserve its habitat and promote sustainable use of the plant, we can ensure that this unique and important part of the Isle of Man's ecosystem and cultural heritage will continue to thrive for generations to come.


Isle of Man Cabbage filmed at Hightown in Lancashire on the 20th May 2023.


Music credits
Cello Suite #1 in G - Prelude - Classical Whimsical by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

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Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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