In praise of Rhinanthus minor

The fields around us look like this

20190510-65

a grass mono-culture.

Ours looks like this

20190605-10-2

an ever changing mix of species with new ones arriving all the time

(There is a rather out of date list of species here)

We scythe off the vetetation after each flowering season to reduce the soil fertility.

Another major agent is this

20190605-02

Yellow Rattle – Rhinanthus minor

Because it gains some of its nutrients from the roots of neighbouring plants it helps to weaken the grass to allow space for a greater diversity of plants.

Our Rattle has been spreading well over the last couple of years, partly by its own efforts and also due to us collecting seed and spreading it further.

Here is a patch with a low density of Rattle

20190601-12

and here is one where it is more dominant

20190601-71

Long Live the Rattle

One thought on “In praise of Rhinanthus minor

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