Pyrenean Scurvygrass

Latin name: Cochlearia pyrenaica

Family: Brassicaceae (Cabbage family)

Scurvygrass is so-called because the leaves have a high vitamin C content and before the availability of citrus fruit, scurvygrass was widely used by sailors to prevent scurvy.

Although it's more likely that the common scurvygrass was used for this purpose, due to its widespread coastal distribution, Pyrenean scurvygrass is thought to have similar properties.

This sprawling plant has short stems and small white flowers which develop into egg-shaped seed pods.

Pyrenean scurvygrass is a metallophyte which means it is a plant that can tolerate high levels of heavy metals such as lead. As a result it can be seen in flower between April and August close to historic lead mining sites in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It also grows beside streams and rivers throughout the National Park.

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Wharfedale in Yorkshire is a valley favoured by nature and enriched by romance. From 'Wharfedale' by Ella Pontefract & Marie Hartley

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