Wild liquorice

Wild liquorice

Wild liquorice  © Brian Eversham

Wild liquorice

Scientific name: Astragalus glycyphyllos
A sprawling plant, wild liquorice often has large, kinked stems. It favours woodland, scrub and grassland habitats on chalky soils - look for pea-like flowers and pods. This liquorice is not edible, though!

Species information


Height: up to 1.5m

Conservation status


When to see

June to August


Wild liquorice is a member of the pea family, often found in woodlands, scrub and grasslands on chalky soils. It is a sprawling perennial that can grow quite tall. It displays clusters of tubular, creamy flowers from June to August, and produces familiar-looking peapods later on.

How to identify

Wild liquorice is a straggly plant, with oval leaflets (up to 15). Its flowers are creamy-white or slightly green, and take the typical five-petalled pea -or vetch-type form; they gather in dense clusters. Long, inflated peapods follow the flowers.


Widespread, but not common.

Did you know?

The liquorice that we eat as a sweet comes from the root of a different plant, so don't try to pick or dig up wild liquorice!