I’m still out in the field, but summer student Raakel Toppila has helped out by writing today’s entry. – Daniel
Rhinanthus minor, also known as yellow-rattle, occurs throughout the northern hemisphere, from Europe to Asia to North America. It is a hemiparasitic plant (much like mistletoe), obtaining some nutrients from a host plant or host plants, while still photosynthesizing. This contrasts with holoparasitic plants which lack chlorophyll entirely and therefore have no photosynthesizing apparatus. One study found haustorial connections (morphologically modified tissue which physically penetrates the host plant’s vascular tissue) in the roots of an individual Rhinanthus plant connecting to seven different host species. A rather greedy plant!