Yellow rattle eats grass roots and helps maintain wild areas and borders from invading grasses
Yellow Rattle, also known as Hay Rattle, is a native wildflower with pretty yellow flowers that ripen in late summer into dry pods that rattle (hence their name) – traditionally indicating it was time to cut the hay.
Yellow rattle attracts bees to its flowers and is a food source to a couple of rare moths, but the primary reason for growing it is its parasitic nature.
Yellow Rattle does a great job of weakening and reducing grass competition in wildflower gardens and meadows. Grass is the enemy of wildflowers, often outcompeting them, weakening flowering and killing them off over time. A healthy population of yellow rattle, evens up the odds because it attaches to the roots of grasses, drawing nutrition from the grass, weakening its growth.
The best time to sow Yellow Rattle seed is between September and February as it benefits from being exposed to winter cold which assists germination.