Information on Sharp-leaved Fluellen

Common Name: Sharp-leaved Fluellen
Scientific Name: Kickxia elatine
Irish Name: Buaflíon Breatnach
Family Group: Plantaginaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


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


Sharp-leaved Fluellen is a prostrate, sprawling, annual plant found in the borders of arable fields in autumn. It has distinctive slender stems which bear hairy, arrow-shaped, sharply-pointed leaves. Small two-lipped flowers (8-12 mm long) are borne on skinny hairless stalks which arise from leaf-axils. The purple upper lip is divided into two lobes whereas the lower lip is three-lobed and mainly yellow with little purple smudges. Each flower has a long straight spur. These flowers bloom from July to October. This is an introduced plant which is not frequently found, being mainly confined to the south-east of the country and it belongs to the Plantaginaceae family. 

I first recorded and photographed this plant at Hook Head, County Wexford in 2011 after I had been shown it by Roy Watson and Frankie Tennant, fellow members of the Wexford Naturalists’ Field Club. 

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

Fluellen, Sharp-leaved
Fluellen, Sharp-leaved

This plant was on the list of plants protected by the Flora Protection Order 1987. It was previously known as Linaria elatine.   

It seemed very appropriate to find this growing in County Wexford as it bears that county’s colours!