Several plants of the Melampyrum (cow-wheat) genus are found in Latvia. By far the most common are the common cow-wheat and the wood cow-wheat.
Botanist Agnese Priede tells Latvian Radio the wood cow-wheat is sometimes called the 'true midsummer herb'. It is usually found at the sides of meadows.
Meanwhile the common cow-wheat is often found in pine forests.
Photo: The common cow-wheat.
These hemiparasitic plants can produce but a part of the nutrients they need.
The wood cow-wheat (confusingly called the meadow cow-wheat in Latvian) has a violet crown and sprouts bright yellow flowers around midsummer. It is one of the most colorful plants found in Latvia.