Information on Danish Scurvy-grass

Common Name: Danish Scurvy-grass
Scientific Name: Cochlearia danica
Irish Name: Carrán creige
Family Group: Brassicaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Danish Scurvy-grass could sometimes be confused with:

Scurvygrass, Common, Scurvygrass, English,

Also known as Early Scurvy-grass, this is a small prostrate annual which grows on sandy, salty soils, mainly coastal.  With very small 4-petalled white, sometimes lilac, flowers (4-6mm across) which bloom from February to June, it only grows to 20cm high. The shiny lower Leaves are long-stalked and heart-shaped, the stem leaves are ivy-shaped and fleshy, resistant to the salty conditions of their environment. This is a native plant and it belongs to the family Brassicaceae.

I first came across this wildflower in the sand dunes of Ballyteigue, Co Wexford in 2007 and I photographed it at that time.  

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

Scurvygrass, Danish
Scurvygrass, Danish

Before Vitamin C was readily available as a supplement, sailors returning from long sea voyages used to eat Scurvy-grass in quantities.  Scurvy is caused by a diet deficient in Vitamin C.

Scurvy-grass is now appearing in habitats distant from the coast and it is thought that it is the salting of winter roads which leaves soil which is suitable for the seeds of this plant.  Seeds may be picked up by trucks entering countries through coastal ports near where the plant grows and distributed throughout the country.