Can you help find some of Lundy's lost plants?

Many interesting plants have been recorded on Lundy in the last 100 years, but some have not been seen recently. They may just have been overlooked, or possibly have vanished altogether. If you can find any of the following species, please DO NOT pick them but instead, make a note of the precise location, draw a sketch map if possible, and, even better, take a photograph. Details can then be entered in the LFS logbook held in the Marisco Tavern.

For further information, or to report sightings, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Moonwort Botrychium lunaria


A very small fern, usually about 10cm tall, which was last seen near Three-quarter Wall in the 1930s. It favours short turf, and is fully grown in June and July.

Small-flowered Catchfly Silene gallica

Small floweredCatchfly

Resembles a diminutive White Campion with tiny white or pale pink flowers. Usually in dry, sunny sites. Not seen since 1960s.

Lanceolate Spleenwort Asplenium obovatum


Recorded about 80 years ago, but no details were given about its location. It should be found on walls or sometimes in natural rock crevices. Beware confusion with Black Spleenwort which is quite common in places.

Shepherd’s Cress Teesdalia nudicaulis


A small white-flowered plant similar to Shepherd’s Purse but with unequal petals (2 large and 2 small) and flowers in a compact head, usually open in April. Prefers dry open areas and very short turf or bare soil. Not seen since 1990s.

White Horehound Marrubium vulgare


Used to grow in dry, sunny areas, such as around The Barn or in well-used gateways. Whorls of small white flowers are produced in July, and the leaves have a soft, downy texture. Host to the Horehound Plume Moth. Last seen in early 1980s.

Autumn Ladies’ Tresses Spiranthes spiralis


A small, white-flowered and delicately-scented orchid which flowers late in the season, so look for this in August and September. It favours short grass and dry, sunny conditions, and has been reported near the Castle.

Ivy Broomrape Orobanche hederae


One of a number of parasitic plants which are very similar; this, or a closely-related species, may have been recorded in recent years. Beware confusion with the dried-up flower spikes of Wall Pennywort Umbilicus rupestris. Could be present in the Millcombe area, or along Beach Road.

Downloads of this information in PDF format is available at Lundy's Lost Plants 1, Lundy's Lost Plants 2 and Lundy's Lost Plants 3.

Text by Andrew Cleave

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