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Melampyrum nemorosum photo.jpg
Melampyrum nemorosum
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Orobanchaceae
Genus: Melampyrum

about 20, see text.

Melampyrum is a genus of about 20 species of herbaceous flowering plants in the family Orobanchaceae known commonly as cow wheat. They are native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. They are hemiparasites on other plants, obtaining water and nutrients from host plants, though they are able to survive on their own without parasitising other plants.[1]

Melampyrum species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, including the mouse moth (Amphipyra tragopoginis).


The phylogeny of the genera of Rhinantheae has been explored using molecular characters.[2][3] Melampyrum appears as a distant relative of other genera of Rhinantheae. It is the sister group of two clades: (i) Rhynchocorys, Lathraea, and Rhinanthus ; and (ii) the core Rhinantheae containing Bartsia, Euphrasia, Tozzia, Hedbergia, Bellardia, and Odontites.

Cladogram: Genus-level phylogeny of tribe Rhinantheae based on molecular characters (ITS, rps16 intron and trnK region).[2][3]





  Core Rhinantheae  

  Bartsia sensu stricto (Bartsia alpina)



  Hedbergia (including Bartsia decurva + B. longiflora)

  Bellardia (including Parentucellia
  and Bartsia canescens + B. mutica)

  Odontites sensu lato
  (including Bornmuellerantha and Bartsiella)


Selected species[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kim, K. and S. Yun. (2012). A new species of Melampyrum (Orobanchaceae) from southern Korea. Phytotaxa 42 48-50.
  2. ^ a b Těšitel, Jakub; Říha, Pavel; Svobodová, Šárka; Malinová, Tamara; Štech, Milan (2010-10-28). "Phylogeny, Life History Evolution and Biogeography of the Rhinanthoid Orobanchaceae". Folia Geobotanica. 45 (4): 347–367. doi:10.1007/s12224-010-9089-y. ISSN 1211-9520.
  3. ^ a b Scheunert, Agnes; Fleischmann, Andreas; Olano-Marín, Catalina; Bräuchler, Christian; Heubl, Günther (2012-12-14). "Phylogeny of tribe Rhinantheae (Orobanchaceae) with a focus on biogeography, cytology and re-examination of generic concepts". Taxon. 61 (6): 1269–1285.