Yellow rattle is hemi-parasitic on grasses, that is, it can survive independently – but it grows best when drawing some nutrition from the grass roots its roots penetrate. Farmers used to dislike it, as it weakens grass, and it was seen as an indicator of rather poor grassland. But for this very reason it is now used when trying to turn grassland into wildflower meadows. This is done by sowing yellow rattle seeds in the grass. Because they steal food from their neighbours, yellow rattle seedlings can grow very quickly in the spring and also slow the growth of the neighbouring grass plants, so other plants have more chance to survive.
kew royal botanical gardens website, plants & fungi
- stiftung naturschutz hamburg und stiftung loki schmidt, blume des jahres 2005: rhinanthus angustifolius / grosser klappertopf.