Botany Blog Plants of the Northeastern U.S.

July 25, 2010

Cow Wheat (Melampyrum lineare)

Filed under: North American Native Plants — admin @ 17:36

This small plant is an annual hemi-parasite in the Snapdragon family (Scrophulariaceae) . It is associated with acidic, shady habitats on soils that can be peaty, sandy, or rocky. These plants were found along the edge of a pine forest (white pine/red spruce) on sandy soil. The genus name means “black wheat”; apparently when the seeds of this plant were added to other grains and ground into flour the bread made from this mixture turned out black (, 2010).

Cow Wheat

The flowers are bilabiate and white with a yellow throat. Leaves tend to be lance-shaped or linear, with the upper often with a few long teeth near the base.

Cow Wheat

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