Woodland flowers

Bastard balm

Bastard balm

Bastard balm is a rare plant in the UK. It only occurs in Cornwall, Devon, parts of south-west Wales and the New Forest area. Even in the New Forest it is now quite scarce with just a handful of sites.   
It only grows in rides and small clearings in ancient woodlands, often near streams.

Bastard balm flowers later than many other woodland flowers and is best seen in June. Try the rides in Wootton Coppice where it is seen most years. It can be difficult to find, so the search adds to the thrill of finding such a rare flower!

Bastard balm

ID tip - Bastard balm usually grows to between 60 and 100cm tall. It has nettle-shaped leaves in opposite pairs up the stem. Just above the leaves are rings of the flowers, which are up to 4cm across and white with large pinkish blotches on the lower petal.

Photo: Clive Chatters

  1. Woodland flowers
  2. Bluebell
  3. Lesser celandine
  4. Wood anemone
  5. Narrow-leaved lungwort
  6. Foxglove
  7. Wood spurge
  8. Butchers broom
  9. Wood sorrel
  10. Wild daffodil
  11. Bastard balm (you are here)


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