E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Rhinanthus minor L.
yellow rattle (little yellowrattle)
Orobanchaceae (Broom-rape family)
(Previously in Scrophulariaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jeremy Gatten  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #9140)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Rhinanthus minor
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Species Information

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Annual herb; stems erect, 10-80 cm tall, simple or few-branched, somewhat 4-angled, nearly smooth to thinly soft-hairy at the nodes and in lines down opposite 2 of the 4 sides.
Opposite, unstalked, lanceolate to oblong, 1-5 cm long, prominently toothed, rough appressedhairy.
Inflorescence a leafy-bracted, terminal, spike-like cluster of several to many, nearly unstalked flowers; corollas yellow, tubular, 10-15 mm long, 2-lipped, the upper lip hood-like and usually with a pair of short, broad, often purplish teeth near the tip, the lower lip 3-lobed; calyces membranous, 7-10 mm long in flower, to 12-17 mm and much inflated in fruit, like a flattened net-veined balloon, 4-toothed, the teeth fine-hairy; stamens 4, the anthers hairy.
Capsules, nearly globe-shaped, flattened, 8-15 mm long, enveloped by the calyx-balloon; seeds several, large, 3-6 mm in diameter, flat, narrow-winged.
A murky species complex but it appears that in BC only 1 entity is present.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to moist meadows, fields, pastures, roadsides and clearings in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; frequent in BC south of 56ÂșN, rare northward and on the Queen Charlotte Islands; circumboreal, N to AK, YT and NT, E to Labr. and NF and S to NH, VT, ND, NM, AZ and OR; Greenland, Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Rhinanthus minor

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 60 1231 2073
Slope Gradient (%) 0 27 230
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 185 350
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(12), BWBS(7), CWH(2), ESSF(41), ICH(8), IDF(61), MS(20), PP(1), SBPS(2), SBS(21), SWB(5)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Rhinanthus borealis subsp. kyrolliae
Rhinanthus crista-galli
Rhinanthus stenophyllus

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References