If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

About Me

My photo

I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

15 August, 2010

Common Cow-wheat (Melampyrum pratense)

I was a bit surprised to find lots of Common Cow-wheat along the side of the lane leading to Coombe Heath nature reserve, I had always though of it as a spring flower but I see from my book that it flowers from May right through to September. There was certainly a lot of it in flower today.

Common Cow-wheat is primarily a woodland plant bit also occurs on heaths and boggy areas and so the approach to Coombe Heath must be ideal as the lane passes through woodland before opening up on to the heath which has a fantastic bog in the middle of it.

Cow-wheat is an interesting flower in that it is a member of the figwort family but unlike many other members of the family the Cow-wheats are partially parasitic on other plants.

Common Cow-wheat has very delicate tubular flowers and, whilst not rare, I would call it uncommon.