Common Restharrow is a
perennial plant of the UK, typically found growing in grassland, dry ground and coastal areas, to a mature height of up to 60cm.
The Restharrow is so called because its tough roots and stems had a habit of 'arresting' the harrow used to rake and prepare soil for crops in the fields. The Restharrow plant has a greyish-green appearance as its leaves and stems are covered in prominent hairs. It has small leaves with toothed edges (particularly at the ends), which are borne in clumps along its branched stems. The flowers have a large pink upper 'standard' petal, two much smaller white 'wing' petals and a narrow pink 'keel'.
Botanic classification and naming: Common Restharrow is a member of the Pea (Fabaceae) family. The genus name
'Ononis' identifies the plant as a Restharrow and its species name 'repens' means 'creeping plant'.
Benefits: Common Restharrow has root nodules that host nitrogen-fixing bacteria. These make atmospheric nitrogen available to feed the plant and enrich the soil.
Benefits to wildlife are also indicated with orange icons in the plant profile bar at the top.