Saw-wort (Serratula tinctoria)

This freshwater plants owes its name to having leaves with serrated edges.   

Scientific name: Serratula tinctoria 

Description / identification 

Saw-wort is a perennial herb of the daisy family. It can grow up to 1m tall, forming branched clusters of purple flowers between July and September. Its 3-25cm long green, basal leaves have serrated edges.  


Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Saw-wort prefers open or partially shaded habitats such as grasslands, unimproved hay meadows, mires and open woodland. 


It is widespread in south-west, northern and central England and Wales, but is rare in Scotland. It’s found in a few low-lying areas of Oxfordshire, generally on Oxford Clay. 


Saw-wort is threatened by land drainage, loss of grasslands due to biological succession and agricultural improvement. Despite it being listed as Least concern for England, it is listed in Oxfordshire’s rare plant register.