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Common Cow-wheat

Melampyrum pratense

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.

Plant Data

Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Order:
Lamiales
Family:
Orobanchaceae (Broomrape)
Type:
Flower
Maximum Size:
35 centimetres tall
Habitats:
Heathland, meadows, moorland, mountains, rocks, woodland.

Flower:
֍
Yellow, 1 petal
 
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.
Other Names:
Common Yellow Cowwheat.
Frequency (UK):
Common  
Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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