Information on Sanicle

Common Name: Sanicle
Scientific Name: Sanicula europaea
Irish Name: Bodán coille
Family Group: Apiaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period

Click for list of all flowering by month
Sanicle could sometimes be confused with:


Often found under beech trees, Sanicle is an erect perennial which reaches 60 – 70 cm high. It bears a few tight umbels of small pink or green-white flowers, with protruding stamens, from May to July. The outer flowers in each cluster are male, the inner being female. The basal leaves are long-stalked and palmately lobed, the smaller, upper having shorter stalks. The fruit is oval with hooked bristles. Also known as Wood Sanicle, this is a native plant belonging to the Carrot family – Apiaceae. 

I first recorded this plant in the Burren in 1974 and I photographed it in Roundwood, Co Wicklow in 2010. 

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

First recorded by Threlkeld in 1727 – ‘Beyond Mount Jerom (sic) and in the Closes beyond Drumcondrah’.


In the seventeenth century, herbalist Nicholas Culpeper wrote of Sanicle: ‘This is one of Venus’s herbs, to cure the wounds or mischiefs Mars inflicts upon the body of man’.