Common Cow-wheat: the plant for ants | Nature Notes from Dorset

Common cow-wheat (Melampyrum pratense) is an interesting flower in that it is a member of the broomrape family and, like other members of the family, it is partially parasitic on other plants. Unlike the broomrapes, however, it does have chlorophyll and so has green leaves and stems and has very delicate yellow tubular flowers.
Whilst primarily a woodland species it is sometimes also found on heaths and in boggy areas; it has a preference for acid soils but does occur elsewhere. Where it occurs in woodland it is usually considered an indicator of ancient woodland. It has a unique association with wood ants 

Read more: Common Cow-wheat: the plant for ants | Nature Notes from Dorset

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