- Position: full sun
- Soil: moist but well-drained soil soils including chalk
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: May to July
- Flower colour: yellow with a violet lip
- Hardiness: fully hardy (annual)
This is an extremely beneficial annual for the wildflower meadow. It is semi-parasitic and takes its water and nutrients from neighbouring plants - particularly grasses. Therefore it is useful in maintaining just the right balance between wildflowers and overly vigorous grasses, which might otherwise take over completely. It is an attractive annual, with vibrant yellow flowers that provide summer colour and papery seedpods that rattle when the seed is ripe.
- Garden care: In autumn find a sunny spot with established grass or lawn (if you are trying to convert it to a wildflower meadow) that has been cut back to 4-5cm high. Scarify the soil with a wire rake opening up a few bare patches and scatter the seed onto this. Keep the grass short over winter and the seed will start to germinate in spring. Once established it self-seeds freely, but cutting it back before it flowers will prevent it coming back in subsequent years.
- Sow: August - November
- Flowering: May - July
- Approximate quantity: 50 seeds