Euphrasia sp.

This small but beautiful plant helps to keep our meadows rich in wildflowers.

Eyebrights steal water and mineral nutrients from nearby grasses, so keeping their numbers down and allowing other wildflowers to colonise – where you find eyebright you usually find lots of other wildflowers.

Why is it called eyebright? If you’ve ever used eyedrops to soothe your eyes, there’s a fair chance eyebright has been used in the droplets – eyebright been used for centuries for treating reddened and inflamed eyes. But did the appearance of its flower influence this? The scientific name of eyebright,  Euphrasia, means cheerful, an apt name for how it makes me feel when I see it.