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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Lamiales

Familia: Orobanchaceae
Tribus: Rhinantheae
Genus: Euphrasia
Overview of species
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E. adenocaulon – E. adenonota – E. aequalis – E. ajanensis – E. alba – E. alboffii – E. alii – E. alpina – E. alsa – E. altaica – E. amblyodonta – E. amphisysepala – E. amplidens – E. amurensis – E. andicola – E. antarctica – E. arctica – E. arguta – E. aristulata – E. atropurpurea – E. australis – E. azorica

E. bajankolica – E. bakurianica – E. bella – E. bhutanica – E. bicknellii – E. borneensis – E. bottnica – E. bowdeniae – E. brevilabris – E. brevipila

E. calida – E. callosa – E. cambrica – E. campbelliae – E. caucasica – E. caudata – E. celebica – E. ceramensis – E. cheesemanii – E. chitrovoi – E. christii – E. chrysantha – E. chumbica – E. ciliolata – E. cisalpina – E. cockayniana – E. collina – E. confusa – E. corcontica – E. coreana – E. coreanalpina – E. crassiuscula – E. cucullata – E. culminicola – E. cuneata – E. curviflora – E. cyclophylla

E. daghestanica – E. davidssonii – E. debilis – E. densiflora – E. dinarica – E. disjuncta – E. disperma – E. drosophylla – E. drucei – E. dunensis – E. dyeri

E. eichleri – E. eurycarpa – E. exaristata

E. fedtschenkoana – E. fennica – E. flabellata – E. flavicans – E. foliosa – E. formosissima – E. foulaensis – E. fragosa – E. frigida

E. genargentea – E. georgica – E. gibbsiae – E. glanduligera – E. grandiflora – E. gratiosa – E. grossheimii

E. hachijoensis – E. haussknechtii – E. heslop-harrisonii – E. himalayica – E. hirsuta – E. hirtella – E. hookeri – E. hudsoniana – E. humifusa – E. hybrida – E. hyperborea

E. illyrica – E. imbricans – E. incisa – E. inopinata – E. insignis – E. integrifolia – E. integriloba – E. intricata

E. jacutica – E. jaeschkei – E. juzepczukii –

E. karataviensis – E. karjaginii – E. kashmiriana – E. kemulariae – E. kisoalpina – E. kjellbergii – E. krassnovii

E. laingii – E. lamii – E. lapponica – E. lasianthera – E. laxa – E. lebardensis – E. lerschii – E. liburnica

E. macrocalyx – E. macrodonta – E. marchesettii – E. marshallii – E. matsudae – E. matsumurae – E. maximowiczii – E. meiantha – E. melanosticta – E. mendoncae – E. merrillii – E. micrantha – E. microcarpa – E. microphylla – E. minima – E. mirabilis – E. mollis – E. monroi – E. multifolia – E. muscosa

E. nankotaizanensis – E. nemorosa – E. nepalensis – E. nisamii – E. nivalis

E. oakesii – E. officinalis – E. omeri – E. onegensis – E. orthocheila – E. ossica – E. ostenfeldii

E. paghmanensis – E. papuana – E. parviflora – E. paucifolia – E. pectinata – E. peduncularis – E. perpusilla – E. petiolaris – E. petriei – E. philippii – E. philippinensis – E. phragmostoma – E. picta – E. pinifolia – E. platyphylla – E. procumbens – E. pseudokerneri – E. pseudopaucifolia – E. pubescens – E. pumilio – E. putoranica

E. qaiseri

E. ramulosa – E. randii – E. reayensis – E. rectiflora – E. regelii – E. remota – E. repens – E. retrotricha – E. revoluta – E. rhumica – E. rivularis – E. rotundifolia – E. ruptura

E. salisburgensis – E. scabra – E. schischkinii – E. schlagintweitii – E. schugnanica – E. scottica – E. scutellarioides – E. secundiflora – E. semipicta – E. setulosa – E. sevanensis – E. sibirica – E. simonkaiana – E. simplex – E. sinuata – E. slovaca – E. sosnowskyi – E. spatulifolia – E. stipitata – E. stiriaca – E. striata – E. stricta – E. subarctica – E. subexserta – E. suborbicularis – E. svanica – E. syreitschikovii

E. tarokoana – E. tatrae – E. taurica – E. tetraquetra – E. townsonii – E. transmorrisonensis – E. tranzschelii – E. tricuspidata – E. trifida –

E. ussuriensis

E. valentinii – E. vernalis – E. versteegii – E. vigursii – E. villaricensis – E. vinacea

E. wettsteinii – E. willkommii – E. woronowii

E. zelandica

Euphrasia L. Sp. Pl. 2: 604. (1753)

Type species: Euphrasia officinalis L. Sp. Pl. 2: 604. (1753) which is accepted by some authorities as a synonym of Euphrasia pectinata subsp. pectinata


Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum 2: 604.
Gussarova, G., Popp, M., Vitek, E. & Brochman, C. 2008. Molecular phylogeny and biogeography of the bipolar Euphrasia (Orobanchaceae): Recent radiations in an old genus. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 48(2): 444–460. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2008.05.002 Full text PDF from ResearchGate Reference page.
Wu, M.-J., Huang, T.-C. & Huang, S.-F. 2009. Phylogenetic biogeography of Euphrasia section Malesianae (Orobanchaceae) in Taiwan and Malesia. Blumea 54: (1-3): 242-247. DOI: 10.3767/000651909X476229 Reference page.


Global Biodiversity Information Facility. 2021. GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset. Taxon: Euphrasia. Accessed: 2021 Oct 9.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Euphrasia in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Oct 9. Reference page.
Hassler, M. 2021. Euphrasia. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2021. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Oct 9. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2021. Euphrasia. Published online. Accessed: 9 Oct 2021.
Tropicos.org 2021. Euphrasia. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Oct 9.

Vernacular names
العربية: عرقون
azərbaycanca: Çatılotu
башҡортса: Ҡарһаҡ үлән
български: Очанка
català: Eufràsia
čeština: světlík
dansk: Øjentrøst
Deutsch: Augentroste
English: Eyebright
eesti: Silmarohi
فارسی: گل خوش
suomi: Silmäruohot
arpetan: L'Herba des uelys
français: Euphraise
Gaeilge: Roisnín radhairc
hornjoserbsce: Swětlik
հայերեն: Ակնախոտ, աչախոտ
日本語: コゴメグサ属
ქართული: კორდისკბილა
қазақша: Көздәрі
lietuvių: Akišveitė
македонски: Видец, видова трева, очинка
Nederlands: Ogentroost
norsk nynorsk: Augetrøst
polski: Świetlik
русский: Очанка
slovenčina: očianka
svenska: Ögontröstsläktet
українська: Очанка
中文: 小米草属

Euphrasia, or eyebright, is a genus of about 450 species of herbaceous flowering plants in the family Orobanchaceae (formerly included in the Scrophulariaceae), with a cosmopolitan distribution. They are semi-parasitic on grasses and other plants. The common name refers to the plant's use in treating eye infections.

Many species are found in alpine or sub-alpine meadows where snow is common. Flowers usually are borne terminally, are zygomorphic, and have a lower petal shaped like a lip. The most common flower colours are purple, blue-white, and violet. Some species have yellow markings on the lower petal to act as a guide to pollinating insects.

Alternative names, mainly in herbalism, are Augentrostkraut, Euphrasiae herba, Herba Euphrasiae and Herbe d'Euphraise.

Use in herbalism and medicine

The plant was known to classical herbalists, but then was not referred to until mentioned again in 1305. Nicholas Culpeper assigned it to the Zodiac sign Leo, claiming that it strengthened the brain. It was also used to treat bad memory and vertigo.[1]

In the Elizabethan era, the plant was used in ales, and Gervase Markham's Countrie Farm (1616) said that one should "Drinke everie morning a small draught of Eyebright wine."[2]

Herbalists use eyebright as a poultice with or without concurrent administration of a tea for the redness, swelling, and visual disturbances caused by blepharitis, and conjunctivitis. The herb is also used for eyestrain and to relieve inflammation caused by colds, coughs, sinus infections, sore throats, and hay fever.

Parts used include the leaf, the stem, and small pieces of the flowers. Typical preparations include a warm compress, or tea. Eyebright preparations are also available as an extract or capsule.

A 2010 report from the European Medicines Agency on the efficacy of Euphrasia remedies states:

From the presence of secondary metabolites, an astringent and anti-inflammatory activity can be hypothesized for Euphrasia preparations. The ocular use of Euphrasia is based upon tradition. However, since the efficacy of the claimed ocular uses is undocumented and external eye application is not hygienic, therapeutic use cannot be recommended.[3]


The phylogeny of the genera of Rhinantheae has been explored using molecular characters.[4][5] Euphrasia belongs to the core Rhinantheae. Euphrasia is the sister genus to Odontites, Bellardia, Tozzia, and Hedbergia. In turn, these five genera share phylogenetic affinities with Bartsia.

Genus-level cladogram of tribe Rhinantheae.







  Core Rhinantheae  

  Bartsia sensu stricto (Bartsia alpina)





  (including Bartsia decurva + B. longiflora)




(New World Bartsia)


  Odontites sensu lato
  (including Bornmuellerantha
  and Bartsiella)

The cladogram has been reconstructed from nuclear and plastid DNA molecular characters (ITS, rps16 intron and trnK region).[4][5]
Taxonomy and identification

The genus Euphrasia is taxonomically complicated due to many species being interfertile and prone to hybridisation. Despite there having been a number of taxonomic revisions[6][7][8] the appropriate rank of many taxa, as well as the relationships between them, remains unclear.
Selected species
Euphrasia alpina
Euphrasia gibbsiae subsp. subglabrifolia
Euphrasia minima
Euphrasia cuneata

Euphrasia × aequalis
Euphrasia alpina
Euphrasia alsa F.Muell.
Euphrasia anglica Pugsley
Euphrasia arctica Lange ex Rostrup
Euphrasia arctica subsp. arctica (E.borealis auct. non (F.Towns.) Wettsd.)
Euphrasia arctica sybsp. borealis (F.Towns) Yeo
Euphrasia arguta – believed extinct, rediscovered 2008
Euphrasia azorica
Euphrasia brevipila
Euphrasia calida
Euphrasia cambrica Pugsley
Euphrasia campbelliae Pugsley
Euphrasia collina R.Br. – purple eyebright
Euphrasia collina ssp. muelleri – Mueller's eyebright
Euphrasia collina ssp. osbornii – Osborn's eyebright
Euphrasia confusa Pugsley
Euphrasia coreana W.Becker – Korean eyebright[9]
Euphrasia cuneata – North Island eyebright
Euphrasia crassiuscula Gand
Euphrasia fabula
Euphrasia fennica
Euphrasia foulaensis F.Towns. ex Wettst
Euphrasia fragosa – shy eyebright, Southport eyebright
Euphrasia frigida Pugsley – cold-weather eyebright
Euphrasia gibbsiae
Euphrasia gibbsiae subsp. psilantherea
Euphrasia glabrescens
Euprasia grandiflora
Euphrasia heslop-harrisonii Pugsley
Euphrasia hirtella
Euphrasia hudsoniana – Hudson's eyebright
Euphrasia insignis Wettst
Euphrasia kingii
Euphrasia lasianthera – hairy eyebright
Euphrasia marshallii Pugsley
Euphrasia micrantha Rchb.
Euphrasia minima
Euphrasia nemorosa (Pers.) Wallr. – common eyebright
Euphrasia officinalis coll. – doctor's eyebright, or medical eyebright
Euphrasia officinalis L – see Euphrasia rostkoviana[10]
Euphrasia oakesii – Oakes' eyebright
Euphrasia ostenfeldii (Pugsley) Yeo
Euphrasia parviflora
Euphrasia pseudokerneri Pugsley – chalk eyebright
Euphrasia randii – small eyebright
Euphrasia rivularis Pugsley
Euphrasia rostkoviana Hayne – red eyebright, "figwort"
Euphrasia rostkoviana subsp. rostkoviana
Euphrasia rostkoviana subsp. montana (Jord.) Wettst.
Euphrasia rotundifolia Pugsley
Euphrasia ruptura – extinct
Euphrasia salisburgensis Funk.
Euphrasia scabra R.Br. – rough eyebright
Euphrasia scottica Wettst.
Euphrasia semipicta – peninsula eyebright
Euphrasia striata R.Br.
Euphrasia stricta D.Wolff ex J.F.Lehm.
Euphrasia subarctica – arctic eyebright
Euphrasia suborbicularis – roundleaf eyebright
Euphrasia tatrae
Euphrasia tetraquetra (Bréb.) Arrond.
Euphrasia vernalis
Euphrasia × vestita
Euphrasia vigursii Davey
Euphrasia × villosa
Euphrasia vinacea – glacier eyebright
Euphrasia zelandica
Euphrasia sp. 'Bivouac Bay'[a] – Bivouac Bay eyebright


Also known as Euphrasia sp. 'fabula'; related to but not identical with E. fabula.


Howard, Michael (1987): Traditional Folk Remedies. Century. p.136
Grieve, Maud (1971). A Modern Herbal: The Medicinal, Culinary, Cosmetic and Economic Properties, Cultivation and Folk-lore of Herbs, Grasses, Fungi, Shrubs, & Trees with All Their Modern Scientific Uses, Volume 1. p. 292. ISBN 9780486227986.
"Assessment report on Euphrasia officinalis L. and Euphrasia rostkoviana Hayne, herba (Page 13)" (PDF).
Těšitel, Jakub; Říha, Pavel; Svobodová, Šárka; Malinová, Tamara; Štech, Milan (2010-10-28). "Phylogeny, Life History Evolution and Biogeography of the Rhinanthoid Orobanchaceae". Folia Geobotanica. 45 (4): 347–367. doi:10.1007/s12224-010-9089-y. ISSN 1211-9520. S2CID 39873516.
Scheunert, Agnes; Fleischmann, Andreas; Olano-Marín, Catalina; Bräuchler, Christian; Heubl, Günther (2012-12-14). "Phylogeny of tribe Rhinantheae (Orobanchaceae) with a focus on biogeography, cytology and re-examination of generic concepts". Taxon. 61 (6): 1269–1285. doi:10.1002/tax.616008.
Yeo PF. (1978). "A taxonomic revision of Euphrasia in Europe" Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 77 (4) 223–334
Barker WR.(1982) "Taxonomic Studies in Euphrasia L.(Scrophulariaceae): A Revised Infrageneric Classification, and a Revision of the Genus in Australia" J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 5: 1–304.
Sell PD, Yeo PF. (1970). "A revision of the North American species of Euphrasia L. (Scrophulariaceae)". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 63 (3) 189–234,
English Names for Korean Native Plants (PDF). Pocheon: Korea National Arboretum. 2015. p. 465. ISBN 978-89-97450-98-5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 16 December 2016 – via Korea Forest Service.
"Assessment report on Euphrasia officinalis L. and Euphrasia rostkoviana Hayne, herba (Page 2,top)" (PDF).

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