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Rhinanthus minor

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Orobanchaceae (Broomrape)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
70 centimetres tall
Fens, grassland, meadows, roadsides, sand dunes.

Yellow, 2 petals
Yellow flowers on leafy terminal spikes. 2-lipped with the upper lip having two white or purple teeth.
Yellowrattle is named after the sound the seeds make inside its fruit, which is an inflated globular capsule.
Yellowish-green, opposite, simple leaves with serrated margins.
Other Names:
Cockscomb, Corn Rattle, Hay Rattle, Hayrattle, Lesser Yellow Rattle, Little Yellow Rattle, Penny Grass, Rattle Grass, Small Yellow Rattle, Yellow Rattle-box.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Rhinanthus minor, also known as lesser yellow rattle or small yellow rattle, is a annual 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. Like R. angustifolius, R. minor is also a hemi-parasitic plant, which means it attaches its roots to the roots of other plants to take some of their nutrients, 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.


Yellow rattle, also known as Rhinanthus minor, is a wildflower that is native to Europe and Asia. It is a member of the Orobanchaceae family and is often found growing in meadows, pastures, and other grassy areas.

One of the most interesting things about yellow rattle is that it is a hemiparasitic plant. This means that it partially relies on other plants for its survival. The roots of yellow rattle attach themselves to the roots of other plants, such as grasses, and extract nutrients from them. This can have a negative impact on the host plant, but it also helps to prevent the growth of too much grass, which can be beneficial for other wildflowers and other plants that grow in the same area.

Yellow rattle is a small, annual plant that typically grows to be about 30-70 cm tall. It has delicate, green, lance-shaped leaves and produces small, yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom from June to September. The flowers are a favorite of many pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and moths, making it an important plant for promoting biodiversity in grassland habitats.

Another interesting thing about yellow rattle is its medicinal properties. It is traditionally used to treat a variety of ailments, including respiratory problems and fever. The plant contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory, diuretic, and expectorant properties. It is also used as a natural remedy for insomnia, anxiety and stress.

Yellow rattle is also known for its ability to help control the growth of grasses in meadows and pastures. As mentioned earlier, it is a hemiparasitic plant and is able to extract nutrients from the roots of other plants. This can weaken the growth of the host plant and help to prevent the overgrowth of grasses, which can often outcompete other wildflowers and plants in the area. This makes yellow rattle a valuable tool for managing grasslands and promoting biodiversity.

In addition to its ecological benefits, yellow rattle has also been used for centuries in traditional medicine. The plant contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory, diuretic, and expectorant properties, making it useful for treating respiratory problems and fever. It is also believed to have sedative properties, and can be used as a natural remedy for insomnia, anxiety and stress.

Yellow rattle can be easily grown in a wildflower meadow or grassland habitat, and can also be used in a traditional meadow or pasture. The seeds can be sown in the fall or spring, and the plants will typically germinate within a few weeks. Once established, yellow rattle will self-seed and will return year after year.

In summary, Yellow Rattle is a unique and valuable wildflower that has many benefits for the ecosystem and for human health. Its ability to control the growth of grasses and promote biodiversity, as well as its medicinal properties make it a great choice for any wildflower meadow or grassland habitat. It is also easy to grow and maintain, making it a great addition to any traditional meadow or pasture.


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