You are here

Bastard Toadflax

This is a tiny flower that grows amongst short turf on limestone soils and as a result it is a nationally scarce plant as the conditions it needs are rare. It is also difficult to find and very difficult to photograph as it is so small (this is very much a 'could do better' photograph I am using!).

It is a semi-parasitic plant getting some of its nutrients by taking advantage of nearby grasses. That may be the origin of the first part of its name but it is not a member of the toadflax family so where that comes from is anyones guess!

For those of a more sensitive nature who might find bastard toadflax a bit offensive a new name has recently been coined for this plant and it is now also known as stars in the grass because of the five pointed petals that are arranged in a star shape.


Common Name Bastard Toadflax
Alternative Name(s) Stars in the Grass
Scientific Name Thesium humifusum
Species Group Simple Flowers
Interest Level
Look for
Identification Notes
Primary Habitat
Family Sandalwood family - Santalaceae
Status Rare
Flower Colour Group White
  • 06 - June
  • 07 - July
  • 08 - August
Preferred Environment
Look for Tiny white star-shaped flowers in short turf
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Notebook Distribution Map Sites List Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

To see related species click here: 

Simple Flowers