Sunday, 29 May 2011

What's rattling?

Yellow Rattle or Cockscomb, or Rhinanthus minor, is a flowering plant native to Europe and Western Asia.
It is a hemi-parasitic herbaceous annual plant that gains some of its nutrients from the roots of neighbouring plants. It grows to 25-50 cm tall, with opposite, simple leaves, with a serrated margin. The flowers are yellow. The name gives it away really! The fruit is a dry capsule, which contain loose, rattling seeds when ripe.  Its preferred habitat is dry fields or meadows, where its flowering period is between June and September.
Encouraging Yellow Rattle to grow in hay meadows greatly increases biodiversity by restricting grass growth and thereby allowing other species to thrive.
So that explains why we have made quite some efford to saw Yellow Rattle in our little meadow: The results are now showing.

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