False Thorow-wax, Hampstead Heath
Umbels with large yellow bracts
Close-up of petal-less flowers
Umbels, bracts and lower leaves
Upper leaves with 'thorow' stems
April to August
In Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland (2003), Blamey, Blamey
and Fitter state that it flowers from June to August, but the
plants shown here were flowering in mid April.
It is very thinly scattered throughout the country.
For a map see the National Biodiversity Network Gateway
It is a neophyte, which was introduced from the Mediterranea
n region in the 1850s.
It occurs as a casual in gardens, on waste ground and on
The pictures shown here were of an extensive patch of plants
on Hampstead Heath, London.
It is an infrequent constituent of wild bird seed and this may
account for its widespread but unusual occurrence.
False Thorow-wax is an annual, waxy, patch-forming herb,
growing up to 30cm.
The small yellow flowers are in umbels above broad
yellow-green, petal-like bracts.
The flowers have no petals.
The upper leaves are large and almost round.
The lower leaves are a darker green, broadly oval with
Stems are hairy and appear to grow through the upper
leaves – hence ‘thorow’.
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