Crosswort

©Bruce Shortland

Crosswort

Scientific name: Cruciata laevipes
Crosswort gets its name from the position of its leaves - they surround the stem in groups of four, making a cross shape. The tiny, yellow flowers sit atop these crosses and bloom from April to June.

Species information

Statistics

Height: up to 50cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

April to June

About

The small, pale yellow flowers of Crosswort can be seen in grassy woodland rides, hedgerows and roadside verges between April and June. They appear up the length of the stem, surrounding the distinctive, cross-like arrangement of its leaves that give this plant its name. Crosswort prefers chalky or neutral soils and spreads using rhizomes (stems); it is a member of the bedstraw family.

How to identify

The tiny, yellow flowers of Crosswort appear up the stem. They surround whorls of four leaves that sit around the stem in a cross shape. The other yellow-flowered member of the bedstraw family, Lady's Bedstraw, has clusters of flowers at the ends of its stems, giving it a more 'frothy' appearance.

Distribution

Found throughout mainland UK, particularly in Northern and Eastern England.

Did you know?

The tiny flowers of Crosswort have a honey-like scent.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts work closely with farmers and landowners to ensure that our wildlife is protected and to promote wildlife-friendly practices. By working together, we can create Living Landscapes: networks of habitats stretching across town and country that allow wildlife to move about freely and people to enjoy the benefits of nature. Support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.