This fragrant, upright wildflower is usually found growing on roots of Wild Thyme from which it draws its nourishment. Growing to about 25cm, it is a yellowish plant, somewhat tinged with purple, which carries reddish flowers (15-20mm long) in slender, short spikes. It contains no chlorophyll so there is no green pigment. The leaves are really brownish scales and in fact not true leaves. It flowers from May to August in habitat where Wild Thyme grows such as dry, grassy, sandy places, is a native plant and belongs to the family Orobanchaceae.
My first recording of this plant was in 1979, at Ballyvaughan in the Burren. I photographed it, also in the Burren, at Bishop's Quarter, in 2003.
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre