Cochlearia officinalis, or Common Scurvygrass, is a flowering plant of the genus Cochlearia in the family Brassicaceae. The plant acquired its common name from the observation that it cured scurvy, and it was taken on board ships in dried bundles or distilled extracts. Its very bitter taste was usually disguised with herbs and spices; however, this did not prevent scurvygrass drinks and sandwiches becoming a popular fad in the UK until the middle of the nineteenth century, when citrus fruits became more readily available.
Cochlearia officinalis is a Biennial/Perennial growing to 0.3 m (1 ft). It is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to August, and the seeds ripen from July to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by Bees, flies, and beetles. The plant is self-fertile. It is also noted for attracting wildlife.
'Range:' Coastal and mountainous regions of western, northern and central Europe, including Britain.