Red Bartsia

Odontites verna

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  2. Wildflowers
  3. Red Bartsia

About

Red Bartsia is a common plant of roadside verges, railway cuttings, waste grounds and other disturbed ground. These areas often have low-fertility soils, so Red Bartsia is actually partly parasitic, gaining extra nutrients from the roots of its nearby host grasses. As its name suggests, the whole plant is tinged with red and leafy flower spikes appear from June to September.

How to identify

Red Bartsia is a straggly, downy plant with narrow, toothed leaves that sit opposite each other along the stems. Pinky-purple flowers appear on the stems in clusters, nestling in the leaf axils (where they join the stem).

Where to find it

Widespread.

Habitats

When to find it

  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September

How can people help

Although they sometimes don't look especially wildlife-friendly, our roadside verges and waste grounds can provide valuable habitats for all kinds of plants and animals. The Wildlife Trusts get involved in different projects to help make these places as beneficial for wildlife as possible. We have a vision of a 'Living Landscape': a network of habitats and wildlife corridors across town and country, which are good for both wildlife and people. You can support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Red Bartsia
Latin name
Odontites verna
Category
Wildflowers
Statistics
Height: up to 40cm
Conservation status
Common.