Yellow Rattle plant

Asked September 29, 2020, 6:43 PM EDT

I have heard of a plant used in the UK for meadow planting. It is called Yellow Rattle and is semi-parasitic to grass. I have not been able to find the seeds for it here but can order them from the UK. I want to be sure this is a plant that is ok to plant here and not become invasive. I want to plant a small meadow area, about 10ā€™ by 20ā€™. The neighboring areas do not have grass so Iā€™m not worried about it killing grass close by. Do you know if other plants it might be harmful to? Thank you, Wendy

Marion County Oregon

1 Response

Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor) is a European and particularly UK native species. It seems to be found sparingly in the U.S. Although it is not considered a noxious weed in Oregon, since is is semi-parasitic on grasses there is somewhat of a risk to hay fields from this plant as noted in the article from the University of New Hampshire:

There is a similar plant native to Oregon, Rhinanthus crista-galli. This is found in northwest Oregon, particularly near Saddle Mountain. This is also semi-parasitic and as it is actually native, it would seem to be a somewhat better candidate for your little meadow , although I do not see it as being native in the Willamette Valley. If your goal is to create a wildflower meadow as habitat, it might be a better idea to obtain seeds of Willamette Valley annual and perennial seeds and plant those. A local source of such seeds is Heritage Seedlings in Salem:

Feel free to write with questions