Serratula tinctoria


A member of the daisy family, similar to thistle but without spines. It gets its name from the shape of the leaves.

How to identify

Medium height plant, purple-flowered, with finely saw-toothed leaves.

Where to find it

England and Wales, particularly in the southwest.


When to find it

  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October

How can people help

Saw-wort is a component of old unimproved hay meadows, fast declining through agricultural improvement, diffuse pollution and fragmentation. By being a member of your local Wildlife Trust you can help us protect our existing nature reserves, purchase new sites and advise landowners on how to sympathetically manage their hay meadows.

Local information

At the heart of Finemere Wood is an area of rough pasture. Traditional grazing here has encouraged the return of plants such as saw-wort. Finemere Wood is one of five nature reserves within BBOWT's Bernwood Forest project area. This is a large-scale project which aims to enhance and recreate different habitats for a wide variety of wildlife. It will regenerate woodlands, improve meadows and extend hedgerows for the benefit of wildlife and people.

Meadow Farm and Asham Meads are found within a similar project area - the Upper River Ray Floodplain Living Landscape. The meadows at both these sites are also filled with wild flowers including saw-wort.

You can encourage more wildlife into your garden too. Planting your own wildflower meadow makes a wonderful alternative to plain grass on your lawn and brings vibrant colour to any garden.

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Serratula tinctoria
Can grow to one metre tall, although usually shorter.