There is currently disagreement as to the taxonomic status of Scottish scurvygrass. It was, at one point, held to be a species its own right (2) (3); at present, however, it is thought to be a subspecies of common scurvygrass (Cochlearia officinalis) which is endemic to the British isles (4). More recently it has been suggested that populations identified as subspecies scotica may actually represent individuals of other scurvygrasses that have been dwarfed by harsh environmental conditions (4). This confusion arises because as a group, the scurvygrasses are highly variable in response to environmental stresses (3). Until further research is carried out into the taxonomy of Scottish scurvygrass, and the current mystery resolved, it is widely treated as a subspecies of common scurvygrass Cochlearia officinalis scotica (4). This plant produces small compact tufts that measure up to 10 cm in diameter. The basal leaves have long stalks and are variable in shape. The flowers have pale mauve petals, and the fruit narrows at each end (2).
- Flower diameter: 5 - 6 mm (2)
- Diameter of tufts: 5 - 10 cm (2)