Rhinanthus minor

From Puget Prairie Plants
  • Scientific Name: Rhinanthus minor ssp. groenlandicus
  • Family: Orobanchaceae
  • Common Names: little yellow-rattle, arctic rattlebox
  • Synonyms/Misapplications: Alectoropholus minor, Rhinanthus crista-gallii, R. articus, R. borealis, R. groenlandicus, R. minor ssp. borealis
  • Codon: RHIMIN

Photo by Ben Legler, 2004, also featured on Main Page


Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Viridiplantae
Phylum: Tracheophyta
Subphylum: Spermatophytina
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteranae
Order: Lamiales
Family: Orobanchaceae
Genus: Rhinanthus L.
Species: Rhinanthus minor L.
Subspecies: Rhinanthus minor ssp. groenlandicus (Chabert) Neuman



Erect hemiparasitic native perennial with opposite, wholly cauline, sessile leaves.

Flowers in terminal, leafy-bracteate spikes. Generally glabrous or thinly puberulent on 2 of 4 sides of squarish stem.

Leaves opposite, sessile, and cauline, scabrous and stiff, linear-lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, toothed, 2-6cm x 4-15mm.

Calyx laterally flattened but somewhat inflated, corolla yellow, bilabiate, galeate, the upper lip hooded and enclosing the anthers.

Fruit is a flattened, orbicular, loculicidal capsule.

Differentiated from Rhinanthis minor ssp. minor by the bluish-gray teeth on the corolla upper lip, R. minor ssp. minor has whitish teeth and is less common.[2]

Bloom Period



Boreal north America, Greenland, Eurasia, south to Washington and NW Oregon.[2]


Mesic to moist meadows, fields, pastures, roadsides and clearings in lowland, steppe and montane zones, up to about 2,000 feet elevation.[4]


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  1. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved from https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=504749#null
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hitchcock, C. L., Cronquist, A., Giblin, D., & Legler, B. et al. (2018). Flora of the Pacific Northwest: an illustrated manual. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
  3. WTU Herbarium, Burke Museum, & University of Washington. Retrieved from https://biology.burke.washington.edu/herbarium/imagecollection/taxon.php?Taxon=Rhinanthus%20minor
  4. Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2020. E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2020-05-09]