Information on Yellow-rattle

Common Name: Yellow-rattle
Scientific Name: Rhinanthus minor
Irish Name: Gliográn
Family Group: Scrophulariaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


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


Yellow Rattle is a well-known wildflower commonly found in meadows, grassy places, heaths and machair.  It produces loose, leafy spikes of flowers, usually yellow but occasionally brownish, from May to September.  The flowers (13-15mm long) are 2-lipped corollas which have blue or violet teeth and are open-mouthed.  The leaves are oblong with rounded teeth, are unstalked and opposite.  The seeds are formed inside inflated, dry capsules which, when ripe, rattle and eventually release the seeds to the wind.  This is a native plant belonging to the family Scrophulariaceae.  

I first recorded this plant in 1976 at Rossadillisk, Co Galway. The plants were growing in a beautiful old meadow by the sea, among a great number of wildflowers, all crowded together and swaying their heads in the breeze. The hidden Corncrakes were calling 'Crex Crex' and it seemed as if time had passed it by altogether. It was both a sight and a feeling I shall never forget.  I photographed it in Ballytore, Co Kildare in 2004. 

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

Yellow-rattle
Yellow-rattle

This is a semi-parasitic plant which means that by using haustoria (root-like organs) it can absorb water and minerals from neighbouring plants.