Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Melittis melissophyllum - Bastard Balm

Range & Status

Native. European Temperate species. Found in south-west and central-southern parts of Britain.

Regional Distribution

Recorded from 51 1km squares since 1999 and has disappeared from many sites in West Cornwall. Mostly found in wooded areas in the middle or lower stretches of the following river systems in West and East Cornwall; Helford (SW72), Fal (SW83), Camel (SX07), Fowey (SX15), East and West Looe (SX25), Seaton (SX35), the Tamar and its tributaries (SX46), and Marsland Water (SS21). Also rarely in single sites elsewhere and in scrub on the coast near Coverack (SW72).

Habitat & Ecology

Mostly on species\endash rich hedgebanks (often with Common Cow-wheat Melampyrum

pratense ) and in woodland margins, rarely on low cliffs.


Many populations are on hedgebanks, so inappropriate roadside trimming will keep plants from producing seed.


Most sites are not protected.

Click here to see Aphotoflora images by David Fenwick


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.