Pellitory-of-the-wall

©Dave Riseborough

Pellitory-of-the-wall

Scientific name: Parietaria judaica
Pellitory-of-the-wall is a small to medium-sized herb that frequently grows from cracks in old stone walls, pavements, cliffs and banks, and churches and ruins.

Species information

Statistics

Height: up to 7cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

June to October

About

Pellitory-of-the-wall is frequently found growing out of cracks in old walls and pavements, on cliffs and banks, and in hedges. It can often be found around old ruins and castles, as well as on damp church walls. Clusters of tiny flowers appear from June to October. It is a foodplant for the caterpillars of the Red Admiral butterfly.

How to identify

Pellitory-of-the-wall is a downy plant, with oval, alternate leaves and small white flowers that form clusters close to its pinkish-red, sticky stem.

Distribution

Found throughout the UK, but most common in Southern and Central England.

Did you know?

Historically, Pellitory-of-the-wall was an important plant in herbal medicine, being used to treat bladder and kidney stones because of its own association with stone.

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try leaving wilder areas in your garden, such as patches of buttercups in your lawn or nettles near your compost heap, to see who comes to visit? To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.