Information on Navelwort

Common Name: Navelwort
Scientific Name: Umbilicus rupestris
Irish Name: Cornán caisil
Family Group: Crassulaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Navelwort is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.


Distinctive, hairless perennial of walls, cliffs and stony banks, this plant, often found in shady places, was so named as each round, fleshy leaf seems to have a little 'navel' in its centre.  Its drooping, bell-shaped greenish-white flowers grow in spikes on pinkish, rounded stems and are seen from June to September.  It is also sometimes known as 'Pennywort' probably on account of its round, glabrous leaves.  It is widespread throughout Ireland, is a native plant and belongs to the family Crassulaceae.  

I first identified Navelwort in Laragh, Co Wicklow in 1976 and photographed these specimens on the pier at Allihies, Co Cork in 1985 and at Hook Head in 2008. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Navelwort
Navelwort

Navelwort had its place in our folklore as it was 'known to be a cure for corns' in Co Kerry.   

From the National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin. NFC S.468:266

The Romans associated this plant with lovemaking and called it 'Venus's Navel'. It was also associated with helping to relieve kidney stone problems.