Dwarf eyebright

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Dwarf eyebright
Dwarf eyebright (Euphrasia minima)

Dwarf eyebright ( Euphrasia minima )

Euasterids I
Order : Mint family (Lamiales)
Family : Summer root family (Orobanchaceae)
Genre : Eyebright ( Euphrasia )
Type : Dwarf eyebright
Scientific name
Euphrasia minima
Jacq. ex DC.

The dwarf eyebright ( Euphrasia minima ) is a species of the genus eyebright ( Euphrasia ) in the family of summer root plants (Orobanchaceae). It is a semi-parasite .


Illustration from Atlas of Alpine Flora

Vegetative characteristics

The dwarf eyebright is a dainty, annual herbaceous plant and reaches heights of 2 to 15 centimeters. The stem is upright and mostly unbranched, but branched in larger individuals. The leaves are up to 15 millimeters long and have one to four awnless teeth.

Generative characteristics

The flowering period extends from July to September. The flowers sit individually in the upper leaf axils. The hermaphrodite flowers are zygomorphic . The white or yellow crown is 5 to 7 millimeters long. The dark pharyngeal veins and the yellow sap mark are striking . The upper lip is folded up and brownish to purple. The lower lip is in three parts.

The number of chromosomes is 2n = 44.

Habit and flowers
Habit and flowers


This species was one of the few annual plants in the alpine flora . All energy is directed to the reproductive organs to give the seedlings a good start. A high proportion of the mother plant's nitrogen production is channeled into the seeds, which are ready to germinate in autumn and overwinter under the snow .

Site conditions

As the site is neglected grassland with calcium-poor soils , preferably at altitudes from 1,200 to 3,300 meters. In the Allgäu Alps, it occurs at altitudes from 1000 to 2200 meters.

The dwarf eyebright is a characteristic species of the crooked sedge (Curvuletum) and dwarf shrub heaths . It is a species of the genus Juncetea trifidi.

Although a single plant is very small, if it occurs in bulk it can significantly reduce grazing yield.

Systematics and distribution

Euphrasia minima was first published in 1805 by Nikolaus Joseph Freiherr von Jacquin in Augustin Pyramus de Candolle and Lamarck : Flore Francaise, ou Descriptions Succinctes de Toutes les Plantes qui Croissent Naturellement en France ... , 3rd edition, 3, page 473.

The distribution area of ​​the dwarf eyebright includes the Alps and the European mountains from the Pyrenees to the Balkans . Dwarf eyebright is common in Austria - it is absent in Burgenland and Vienna .

The following subspecies can be distinguished from Euphrasia minima :

  • Euphrasia minima DC. subsp. minima : It occurs in Spain , France , Corsica , Italy , Germany , Austria , Switzerland , on the Balkan Peninsula , in Romania , Bulgaria and Poland .
  • Euphrasia minima subsp. davisii Yeo : It occurs in Turkey .
  • Euphrasia minima subsp. masclansii O.Bolòs & Vigo : It occurs in Spain.
  • Euphrasia minima subsp. sicardii ( herdsmen ) O.Bolòs & Vigo : It occurs in Spain.
  • Euphrasia minima subsp. tatrae (competition) Hayek : It occurs in Poland, Slovakia , Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine .


  • Xaver Finkenzeller, Jürke Grau: Alpine flowers. Recognize and determine (=  Steinbach's natural guide ). Mosaik, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-576-11482-3 .
  • Wolfgang Adler, Karl Oswald, Raimund Fischer: Excursion flora of Austria . Ed .: Manfred A. Fischer. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart / Vienna 1994, ISBN 3-8001-3461-6 .
  • Wendelberger: Alpine plants - flowers, grasses, dwarf shrubs , Munich 1984, ISBN 3-7632-2975-2 .

Individual evidence

  1. a b Erich Oberdorfer : Plant-sociological excursion flora for Germany and neighboring areas . With the collaboration of Angelika Schwabe and Theo Müller. 8th, heavily revised and expanded edition. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart (Hohenheim) 2001, ISBN 3-8001-3131-5 , pp.  853 .
  2. Erhard Dörr, Wolfgang Lippert : Flora of the Allgäu and its surroundings. Volume 2, IHW, Eching 2004, ISBN 3-930167-61-1 , p. 466.
  3. a b c d e f g Karol Marhold, 2011: Scrophulariaceae : Datasheet Euphrasia minima In: Euro + Med Plantbase - the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity.

Web links

Commons : Dwarf eyebright ( Euphrasia minima )  - Collection of images, videos and audio files