Practical ecological knowledge for the temperate reader.

Vaccaria pyramidata - Cow-basil

Family: Caryophyllaceae (Pink) [E-flora]


Vaccaria hispanica (Accepted Name) [ThePlantList]

  • Dianthus inclusus (2/3 confidence) [ThePlantList]
  • Gypsophila vaccaria (2/3 confidence) [ThePlantList]
  • Saponaria vaccaria [E-flora] (2/3 confidence) [ThePlantList]
  • Saponaria oxydonta (2/3 confidence) [ThePlantList]
  • Saponaria segetalis (2/3 confidence) [ThePlantList]
  • Vaccaria grandiflora (2/3 confidence) [ThePlantList]
  • Vaccaria parviflora (2/3 confidence) [ThePlantList]
  • Vaccaria pyramidalis (2/3 confidence) [ThePlantList]
  • Vaccaria pyramidata (2/3 confidence) [ThePlantList]
  • Vaccaria segetalis [E-flora] (2/3 confidence) [ThePlantList]
  • Vaccaria vulgaris (2/3 confidence) [ThePlantList]

"Vaccaria hispanica is a ANNUAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft). It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Lepidoptera, self.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil." [PFAF]

"General: Annual herb from a slender taproot; stems erect, solitary, branched, glabrous and more or less glaucous, 15-80 cm tall." [IFBC-E-flora]

"Habitat / Range Dry fields and waste places in the steppe and lower montane zones; rare in SW and SC BC; introduced from Eurasia." [IFBC-E-flora]

Status: Exotic [E-flora]

Cultivation & Propagation
"Succeeds in any well-drained soil in a sunny position[200]. Sometimes cultivated for its seed which is often added to wild bird foods[200]. By this means, the plant is often found as an introduced casual in Britain[200]." [PFAF]

"Seed - sow April in situ[1]." [PFAF]


Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses


Shoot - Methanolic extract - 250 ppm-MFC Vs. A. candida [Antifungal]


Part: Seed [218] [PFAF] Per 100 g Dry weight
Protein (g) 15
Fat (g) 2.5



"1 sp. (Latin: cow, from use as fodder or prevalence in pastures) [Thieret & Rabeler 2005 FNANM 5:156]" [Jepson]

Local Species;

  1. Vaccaria pyramidata - cow-basil [E-flora]


Page last modified on Thursday, December 31, 2020 3:26 AM