Melampyrum sylvaticum, SE: Skogskovall, DE: Wald-Wachtelweizen,
NL: Boszwartkoren, UK: Small Cow-wheat

Scientific name:  Melampyrum sylvaticum L.
Swedish name:  Skogskovall
German name:  Wald-Wachtelweizen
Nederlandse naam:  Boszwartkoren
English name:  Small Cow-wheat
Plant Family:  Orobanchaceae, Broomrape family, Snyltrotsväxter

Bloemen in Zweden, Sweden wildflowers

Life form:  Annual
Stems:  Stems erect, simple or branched and up to 40 cm; branches ascending, in opposite pairs; base of both stem and branches softly hairy and tinged red-brown in larger plants. Hairs occur in two opposite rows on stem or branches in the plane perpendicular to branch of leaf emergence.
Leaves:  Opposite, narrow leaves
Flowers:  Opposite, deep yellow tubular flowers; after fertilization the petals often turn a distinctive bright brick-red or orange colour as they fade
Flowering Period:  June, July, August
Fruits:  Capsule narrowly ovoid, acuminate, dehiscing dorsally (1–) 2–4 seeds. Seeds ovoid, yellow brown, with pale elaiosome becoming black after dehiscence.
Habitat:  Humid parts of open woodlands

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Derivation of the botanical name:
Melampyrum, from the Greek melas, "black" and pyros, "wheat", because the seeds made bread black when mixed with them.
sylvaticum from the Latin Sylva, "forest", and aimed at the plant site.
  • The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.
Melampyrum sylvaticum is insect-pollinated. Ants have been reported to be the main dispersal agents and the seed bears an elaiosome which offers them a lipid-rich reward.

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