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Common Cow-wheat

Melampyrum pratense

Plant Data

Order:
Lamiales
Family:
Orobanchaceae (Broomrape)
Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Flowers:
Annual. Flowers in pairs with leaf-like bracts at the bottom, pale to deep yellow, sometimes tinged pink, up to 2cm.
Fruit:
Elliptical, oval, flattened capsule, carrying 4 seeds, later splitting on one side. Seeds are dispersed by ants. The botanical name of 'Melampyrum' is derived from the Greek 'melas' (black) and 'pyros' (wheat) because the seeds made bread turn black during the bread-making process. Pratense simply means 'meadow' which refers to the habitat in which it sometimes grows.
Leaves:
Opposite, linear-lanceolate leaves which are nearly stalkless. Leaf bracts have long teeth at the base.
Maximum Size:
35cm tall.
Other Names:
Common Yellow Cowwheat.
Habitats:
Heathland, meadows, moorland, mountains, rocks, woodland.