Saw-wort ©Wendy Carter


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Scientific name: Serratula tinctoria
Saw-wort gets its common name from the serrated, saw-like edges to its leaves. It is a plant of unimproved hay meadows and woodland edges, its purple, thistle-like flowers appearing over summer.

Top facts


Height: up to 1m

Conservation status


When to see

July to September


Saw-wort is a member of the daisy family that looks like a thistle without the spines. It gets its common name from serrated edges of its leaves. Its purple flower heads appear from July to September and can be seen on unimproved hay meadows and along woodland edges, particularly on chalky soils.

What to look for

Saw-wort has purple flower heads that look like those of a small thistle and sit in branched clusters; however, it lacks the spines of a thistle. It has finely saw-toothed leaves.

Where to find

Found in England and Wales, particularly in the South West.

Did you know?

Historically, the leaves of Saw-wort were used for creating a yellow dye.