Jaak Põder - Wood Cow-wheat

Jaak Põder - Wood Cow-wheat

Wood Cow-wheat is probably one of the most visible plants in meadows and woods in summer in Estonia -- even though it's not very tall, it usually grows in a bunch and its lilac upper leaves and yellow blossoms make a pretty catchy contrast. I've been planning to take some pictures of this plant for some years now, but there has been always something in between. This year I finally managed to spend few evenings with it.

The plant is half-parasitic, it has almost non-existent roots that attach to other roots and this way it gets at least half of its food stealing it from other plants (usually bushes and trees). It is poisonous to humans when eaten, not lethal though. And if you see milk that has purple tone to it and tastes weird, it is probably because cows who gave that milk had eaten a lot of this plant. Last but not least, according to old beliefs when (domesticated) animals drink the brew that is made from this plant, they are less afraid of thunderstorm...

Location: Järvamaa, Estonia

Posted on 16.07.2011
Photo info - 07.07.2011: Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, 100 mm, ISO 100, f 2.8, 1/80 sec
Tags: eesti harilik härghein jaak poder Melampyrum nemorosum Natt och Dag plant plants Wood Cow-wheat wildlife photography
Jaak Põder - Wood Cow-wheat

Jaak Põder - Wood Cow-wheat

Wood Cow-wheat is probably one of the most visible plants in meadows and woods in summer in Estonia -- even though it's not very tall, it usually grows in a bunch and its lilac upper leaves and yellow blossoms make a pretty catchy contrast. I've been planning to take some pictures of this plant for some years now, but there has been always something in between. This year I finally managed to spend few evenings with it.

The plant is half-parasitic, it has almost non-existent roots that attach to other roots and this way it gets at least half of its food stealing it from other plants (usually bushes and trees). It is poisonous to humans when eaten, not lethal though. And if you see milk that has purple tone to it and tastes weird, it is probably because cows who gave that milk had eaten a lot of this plant. Last but not least, according to old beliefs when (domesticated) animals drink the brew that is made from this plant, they are less afraid of thunderstorm...

Location: Järvamaa, Estonia

Posted on 16.07.2011
Photo info - 07.07.2011: Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, 100 mm, ISO 100, f 2.8, 1/80 sec
Tags: eesti harilik härghein jaak poder Melampyrum nemorosum Natt och Dag plant plants Wood Cow-wheat wildlife photography