RED BARTSIA

Odontites vernus

Broomrape Family [Orobanchaceae]  
Formerly: Figwort & Foxglove Family [Scrophulariaceae]]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8Aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8bicolour
flower
flower8pink
inner
inner8yellow
morph
morph8zygo
petals
petalsZ2
stem
stem8round

5th Aug 2008, Freshfields, Merseyside Photo: © RWD


18th Sept 2008, Chadderton, Rochdale Canal, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD


31st July 2007, Gait Barrows, Silverdale, Lancs. Photo: © RWD


29th Aug 2007, Slaidburn, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD


29th Aug 2007, Slaidburn, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD


29th Aug 2007, Slaidburn, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD


15th Aug 2014, grassy lawn, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Lower lip is in three lobes. Pink style visibly slightly protruding just above lip of lowest flower, and just above that is a yellow anther at each tip of the two white stamens.


15th Aug 2014, grassy lawn, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Two white stamens visible in upper lip.


18th Sept 2008, Chadderton, Rochdale Canal, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
The beaked appearance of the flower resembles that of Yellow Rattle, but is pink and not yellow.


31st July 2007, Gait Barrows, Silverdale, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Leaves in opposite pairs, the lower are longer, less hairy, less toothed and narrower.


The fruit with remains of style sticking out. Photo: © RWD
12th July 2014, Wigg Island, Runcorn, Cheshire. Short downwardly-directed hairs on stem as on leaves. Leaves attached directly to stem without stalk. Developing fruit still has style on end here and is green at the moment. There are 4 sepals, more plainly seen when in fruit.


Some similarities to : some Cow-wheats such as Common Cow-wheat (Melampyrum pratense) but those flowers are yellow and not as closely bunched-up.

Slight resemblance to : Alpine Bartsia (Bartsia alpina) but that has purple-coloured flowers.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

This is a  Hemi-Parasitic plant, meaning that it relies on obtaining some of its' nutrients from the roots of nearby plants, usually grass. The flowers themselves have a beaked appearance that resembles those of Yellow Rattle which is another hemi-parasite but the flowers of Red Bartsia are smaller. Un-branched examples of Red Bartsia are starved of nutrients, when fully enriched it is branched.

The scientific binomial name vernus (which means spring) is a misnomer, it does not flower in the spring, but in summer (aestival) or in autumn, depending upon sub-species, of which there are three (perhaps four).

  • Red Bartsia (Odontites vernus ssp. vernus). Flowers in summer. Shortish to 25cm. Inhabits grassy places, arable land and waste ground. Number of branches vary between 1 to 4, sometimes none and held at <51° to the main stem. The lowest flower occurs at the 4th - 9th node. Between none to 1 pair of intercalary leaves. Calyx teeth as long as tube, Style protruding from corolla at the height of pollen-shedding season (anthesis).
  • Red Bartsia (Odontites vernus ssp. serotinus). Flowers in autumn. Twice as long, up to 50cm. Habitation the same as ssp. vernus, but also (as with ssp. litoralis) in maritime locations. Number of branches vary between 2 to 8, sometimes none and held at >49° to the main stem. The lowest flower occurs at the 8th - 14th node. Between 2 to 7 pairs of intercalary leaves.
  • Red Bartsia (Odontites vernus ssp. litoralis). Flowers in autumn. [A disputed sub-species, some say it does not exist, along with ssp. pumilus]. Number of branches vary between 1 to 4, sometimes none and held at <51° to the main stem. The lowest flower occurs at the 4th - 8th node. Between none to 1 pair of intercalary leaves. Calyx teeth shorter than tube. Style shorter than upper lip of corolla at the height of pollen-shedding season (anthesis).
The existance of the latter sub-species, ssp. litoralis, is disputed, some say it does not exist [along with ssp. pumilus which is not listed above].

It is not known which sub-species the above photos represent, but is likely to be more than one.


  Odontites vernus  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Orobanchaceae  

Distribution
family8broomrape family8orobanchaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8odontites
Odontites

RED BARTSIA

Odontites vernus

Broomrape Family [Orobanchaceae]  
Formerly: Figwort & Foxglove Family [Scrophulariaceae]]

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