You are here

Wild Mignonette

A frequent flower of chalk grassland.



  • Wild Mignonette: the yellow mignonette

    Post date: Wednesday, 19 October, 2016 - 21:35

    I associate wild mignonette (Reseda lutea) with chalk grassland. In Hampshire where I lived before crossing the border into Dorset it seemed common on the chalk everywhere but despite a good deal of chalk and limestone in Dorset I have seen this distinctive flower only occasionally. To be fair, on the sites where it does occur it is often quite common. It likes grassland but where the grasses are somewhat sparse.

    The flower head of the wild mignonette is a distinctive spike of pale yellowish-green flowers which are usually, in my experience, rarely more than a foot tall although my field guides indicates that it does grow a fair bit taller. Each plant produces multiple flower spikes which are visible from May until September. The leaves are pale green and are formed of clusters of three pointed lobes. 

    This flower is mildly scented making it popular with small insects and there are a couple of cultivated forms that are grown in gardens. The roots of wild mignonette used to be used to make a yellow dye. 

    As an aside, the name sounds like a raucous 17th Century dance to me!


Common Name Wild Mignonette
Scientific Name Reseda lutea
Species Group Complex Flowers
Interest Level
Look for
Identification Notes
Primary Habitat
Family Mignonette family - Resedaceae
Status Locally common
Flower Colour Group Yellow
  • 06 - June
  • 07 - July
  • 08 - August
  • 09 - September
Preferred Environment
Look for multi-stemmed plant with pale yellow flower spikes
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 Sites List Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

To see related species click here: 

Complex Flowers