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

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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!

23 May, 2015

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