Common restharrow

Common Restharrow

©Philip Precey

Common restharrow

Scientific name: Ononis repens
Look for the small, pink, pea-shaped flowers of Common restharrow on chalk and limestone grasslands, and in coastal areas, during summer.

Species information


Height: up to 70cm

Conservation status


When to see

July to September


Common restharrow is a low-growing, creeping plant with clusters of small, pink flowers that can be seen from July to September. It can be found on grassland, particularly chalk and limestone grassland, and in coastal areas.

How to identify

A creeping perennial, Common restharrow has leaves that are greasy to the touch and divided into three oval leaflets. It has hairy stems and clusters of small, pink, pea-like flowers.


Most common in England, especially around the coast.

Did you know?

Common restharrow has extremely tough, thick roots that spread in a dense network and, during the days of horse-drawn cultivation, could stop ('arrest') a harrow in its tracks.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many grassland habitats sympathetically for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife. Careful grazing with traditional breeds, hay-cutting at the right time and scrub clearance are just some of the ways grasslands are kept in good condition. By volunteering for your local Trust you can help too, and you'll make new friends and learn new skills along the way.