Pellitory-of-the-Wall is a
perennial plant of the UK, typically found growing in walls, urban areas and rocky places, to a mature height of up to 60cm.
Pellitory-of-the-Wall is a hairy, spreading and trailing plant with oval leaves arranged alternately along its red stems. It bears tiny female and bisexual flowers, in its leaf axils, on the same plant. The male structures consist of four transluscent stamens to each flower, arranged in a cross-shape, each filament being tipped with a white anther. The female structures consist of a red style tipped by a tufted stigma. Pellitory-of-the-Wall was used in traditional herbal medicine for urinary conditions and this usage is thought to be the reason it is commonly found growing on abbey walls.
Botanic classification and naming: Pellitory-of-the-Wall is a member of the Nettle (Urticaceae) family. The genus name
'Parietaria' identifies the plant as a Pellitory and its species name 'judaica' means 'Judaic'.
Concerns: The pollen of Pellitory-of-the-Wall can cause severe respiratory allergy and so is sometimes known as 'Asthma Weed'.
Benefits: The plant is a food source for caterpillars of the Red Admiral butterfly.
Benefits to wildlife are also indicated with orange icons in the plant profile bar at the top.