Information on Red Bartsia

Common Name: Red Bartsia
Scientific Name: Odontites vernus
Irish Name: Hocas tae
Family Group: Orobanchaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Red Bartsia is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.


Downy annual of bare or disturbed ground, this low plant is semi-parasitic on the roots of its neighbours.  It's straggly and branched and its hard stems are often slightly red. The pink-purple flowers (8-10mm long) have a two lipped corolla, the lower lip being three-lobed, with bracts mostly longer than the flowers.  The flowers are in one-sided, slightly curved, leafy spikes and appear from June to September.  The leaves are narrow, toothed and sessile, being opposite below and alternate above.  It is quite commonly found, is a native plant and belongs to the family Orobanchaceae.

I first identified this little plant growing in Derrynane, Co Kerry in 1977.  The photographs were taken at Lady's Island, Co Wexford in 2000. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Bartsia, Red
Bartsia, Red