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UK Nature  > Wild Flowers  > White Wild Flowers  > Stellaria holostea

Scientific Name:   Stellaria holostea
Common Name:   Greater Stitchwort

Stellaria holostea, more commonly known as Greater Stitchwort, is a member of the carnation family and has white flowers that can reach up to 50cm in height. The leaves are green, thin, stalkless and grass-like. The flowers have five white petals, each of which is split half-way. This often gives Greater Stitchwort the appearance of having 10 petals. The flowers are usually 2–3cm in diameter and have an explosive seed-dispersal mechanism. In late spring, when the seed capsules ripen, they can be heard popping as they noisily fire their seeds.

Not to be confused with Lesser Stitchwort (Stellaria graminea), its much smaller relative. Lesser Stitchwort’s flowers are just 0.5–1cm in diameter.

Greater Stitchwort can be found across the UK, with swathes of these flowers appearing along roadside verges, in deciduous woodland and in hedgerows during spring. It is beneficial to many pollinating insects, including bees and butterflies, which are in search of nectar during the spring, and is also the food plant of several moths.
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