Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor)

Yellow Rattle is also known as Hay Rattle. It is common on grassland and downland from May until August. It has a preference for chalk soils and is in full fling now at Durslton where it is exceedingly common in the flower meadows but it also common elsewwhere in the county.

It is a member of the figwort family although those flowers look very much like a nettle. When the seed cases ripen the seeds 'rattle' inside the the calyx, hence the name. The other interesting thing about this plant is that it is parasitic using grasses to gather its nutrients.

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