Spiny restharrow, Ononis spinosa in flower

Ononis spinosa

Restharrow

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

  • Botanical name: Ononis spinosa
  • Common name: Restharrow
  • Family: Fabaceae
  • Plant Type: Perennial
Flower colour:

Pink

White

Foliage colour:

Green

Commonly known as spiny restharrow, Ononis spinosa is a shrubby perennial native to the UK. It’s usually found growing naturally as part of infertile, chalky or calcareous meadows.

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Flowering in summer and early autumn, its blooms are pollinated by bees, so it’s great for wildlife. It’s ideal for growing alongside other meadow plant species that enjoy the same growing conditions, such as vetch, scabious, fescues, betony and knapweed.

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For best results, grow Ononis spinosa in full sun in well-drained, neutral to acidic soil. The seeds can be sown in autumn or spring, but may require some form of scarification to break through the tough outer coat.

How to grow Ononis spinosa

  • Plant size

    60cm height

    60cm spread

  • Aspect

    South facing, west facing

  • Position in border

    Front

  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Soil type: Chalky / alkaline / clay / heavy / moist / well drained / light / sandy

Plant calendar

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow
Sow

Do not Sow in January

Do Sow in February

Do Sow in March

Do Sow in April

Do not Sow in May

Do not Sow in June

Do not Sow in July

Do not Sow in August

Do not Sow in September

Do Sow in October

Do Sow in November

Do not Sow in December

Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do Plant in March

Do Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do not Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do Plant in September

Do Plant in October

Do Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Ononis spinosa and wildlife

Ononis spinosa is known for attracting bees. It has nectar/pollen rich flowers.

Attractive to Bees

Does not attract Beneficial insects

Does not attract Birds

Does not attract Butterflies​/​Moths

Does not attract Other pollinators

Is Ononis spinosa poisonous?

Ononis spinosa has no toxic effects reported.

No reported toxicity to:

No reported toxicity to Birds

No reported toxicity to Cats

No reported toxicity to Dogs

No reported toxicity to Horses

No reported toxicity to Livestock

No reported toxicity to People

Plants that go well with Ononis spinosa