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Greater Yellowrattle

Rhinanthus angustifolius

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.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Orobanchaceae (Broomrape)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Fields, grassland, heathland, meadows, roadsides, scrub.

Yellow, 2 petals
The flowers appear in leafy spike. They are long and pale yellow, about 2cm in size. The lower lips are 3-lobed. 4 stamens. Similar to Yellowrattle (Rhinanthus minor) but with protruding stamens and a horizontal lower lip.
A flat, brown fruit capsule.
Oblong, unstalked, deeply serrated, near-linear leaves that appear in opposite pairs along the stems. Each leaf has between 12 and 16 pairs of veins. The stems are 4-angled and usually many-branched. They are occasionally unbranched. The stems are covered in reddish speckles.
Other Names:
Narrow-leaved Rattle, Narrow-leaved Yellowrattle.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Rhinanthus angustifolius, also known as yellow rattle, is a perennial herb that belongs to the family Orobanchaceae. It is native to Europe and Asia, and typically grows in grasslands, meadows, and other open habitats. The plant has small, yellow, tubular flowers and narrow leaves. It is considered a weed in many parts of Europe and Asia, but is also used as a medicinal herb in traditional medicine.

Yellow rattle is also a hemi-parasitic plant species, which means it takes some of its nutrients from other plants by attaching its roots to their roots. This characteristic makes it a useful plant in the wild and in agro-ecological systems as it helps in reducing the growth of other plants and thus allows other plants to grow.


Greater Yellowrattle, also known as Rhinanthus angustifolius, is a flowering plant that belongs to the family Orobanchaceae. It is a perennial herb that is native to Europe and Asia and is commonly found in meadows, grasslands, and along the edges of fields.

The plant gets its common name from the rattling sound that is produced when the seeds inside the fruit are shaken. This sound is caused by the seeds having a small, hard appendage called an aril which makes the seeds rattle inside the fruit.

Greater Yellowrattle has a yellow, hooded flower that blooms in the summer months. The plant can grow up to 60 cm tall and has narrow, linear leaves. The flowers are arranged in a loose, spike-like inflorescence and are visited by a wide range of insects, including bees, butterflies, and moths.

One of the most interesting things about Greater Yellowrattle is that it is a hemiparasitic plant. This means that it is partially dependent on other plants for its survival. The roots of the plant attach themselves to the roots of nearby grasses and other plants, and through this connection, the plant is able to extract nutrients from its host.

This characteristic makes Greater Yellowrattle an ideal plant for use in meadow restoration projects. When planted in combination with grasses, it can help to increase the diversity and productivity of the meadow. It also helps to control the growth of more dominant grass species and in that way, creating a more balanced ecosystem.

In conclusion, Greater Yellowrattle, Rhinanthus angustifolius, is a unique and interesting plant that is not only beautiful but also plays an important role in maintaining the balance of ecosystems. It is an excellent plant for use in meadow restoration projects and can help to increase the diversity and productivity of the meadow.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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