Information on Pellitory-of-the-wall

Common Name: Pellitory-of-the-wall
Scientific Name: Parietaria judaica
Irish Name: Feabhraíd
Family Group: Urticaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period

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

Often seen but more often passed by unnoticed, this downy perennial is well-named as it grows mostly on walls, old castles and ruins.  Also found on rocky ground and shingle beaches it grows to a height of only 8 – 12cm and has reddish stems which bear tiny little green flowers in clusters at leaf bases.  These flowers have yellow stamens which are in separate flowers from those which bear styles. They bloom from June to October but a hand-lens is needed to get a satisfactory look at them. The light green, entire, alternate leaves are oval and tapered at both ends and have long stalks.  While the underside is downy, the upper side is smooth. This is a native plant and it belongs to the family Urticaceae.    

I first found this plant at Bulloch Harbour, Co Dublin in 1976 and I photographed it in Ballyhack, Co Wexford in 2009.  I took the image of this plant growing around a window on Tintern Abbey, Co Wexford also in 2009 (see lower picture) and I am grateful to the OPW for allowing me to display it here. 

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

Not surprisingly, the name of the genus Parietaria derives from the Latin word Paries – wall. 

When mixed with honey, it was recommended as a cure for baldness by herbalist and apothecary, Nicholas Culpeper