Practical ecological knowledge for the temperate reader.

Cochlearia groenlandica - Scurvy-grass

Family: Brassicaceae [E-flora]

"Cochlearia officinalis is a BIENNIAL/PERENNIAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles, self.The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in saline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure." [PFAF]

"General: Biennial or perennial herb from a short, stout taproot; stems spreading to erect, (5) 10-30 (35) cm tall; glabrous." [IFBC-E-flora]

"Habitat / Range Moist sandy seashores, tidal marshes and mudflats in the lowland zone; frequent in coastal BC; circumboreal, N to AK, YT and NT and S to WA; Eurasia."

Origin Status: Native [E-flora]

Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses


Scurvy Grass – Cochlearia officinalis

Part: Greens Per 100 g fresh weight [Turner, Kuhnlein]
Food Energy (Kcal) - Ash (g) - Potassium (mg) -
Water (g) - Thiamine (mg) - Magnesium (mg) -
Protein (g) - Riboflavin (mg) - Calcium (mg) -
Fat (g) - Niacin (mg) - Phosphorus (mg) -
Carbohydrate (g) - Vitamin C (mg) 111 Sodium (mg) -
Crude Fiber (g) - Vitamin A (RE) 455 Iron (mg) -
Zinc (mg) - Manganese (mg) - Copper (mg) -

Cultivation & Propagation

"Prefers a cool shady position[27]. Grows wild on acid or calcareous soils, but it avoids shady positions. Prefers a sandy or gritty well-drained soil[200]. At one time this plant was commonly eaten, especially by sailors, for its high Vitamin C content which can prevent or cure scurvy[1, 183]. A polymorphic species, it hybridizes with C. danica and C. anglica[17]. A good bee plant[200]." [PFAF]

"Seed - sow spring or autumn in situ. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 3 weeks at 15oc[164]." [PFAF]



  1. [E-flora], Accessed June 16, 2015; Jan 29, 2021
  2. [PFAF], Accessed June 16, 2015; Jan 29, 2021

Cochlearia - Scurvygrass

"Annual to perennial herb, low, ± fleshy, glabrous.
Leaf: basal simple, thick, petioled; cauline petioled or sessile, basally lobed, entire or dentate.
Inflorescence: elongate.
Flower: sepals ascending to spreading, base not sac-like; petals oblanceolate to oblong or elliptic, white.
Fruit: silicle, round to oblong, ± inflated or flat perpendicular to septum, sessile, dehiscent, unsegmented; stigma entire.
Seed: 5–32, 2 rows per chamber.
16 species: North America, Europe, Asia, northwestern Africa. (Latin: spoon, from basal leaves of some species)" [Jepson]

Local Species;

Uses of Other Non-local Species

Cochlearia anglica - Long Leaved Scurvy Gras

Range: " Atlantic and North Sea coasts of Europe, including Britain." [PFAF]

Cochlearia danica - Danish Scurvy Grass

Range: " Coastal regions of Europe, including Britain, from Norway to Atlantic Spain and Portugal." [PFAF]


Page last modified on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 3:32 AM