Odontites vernus

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Odontites vernus
Red bartsia 800.jpg
Scientific classification
O. vernus
Binomial name
Odontites vernus

Odontites vernus, the red bartsia,[1][2] is a wild flower from the Broomrape family native to Europe and Asia and occurring as an alien in North America.[3] The red bartsia is a common plant in low-fertility soils, where it lives partially as a parasite on the roots of grasses.[4] The red bartsia has pinkish and red flowers from June to September. They prefer dry conditions and full sun light exposure and are pollinated by bees and wasps.[4] Over the last 70 years, the red bartsia has disappeared from many woodland locations in the English county of Dorset.[5]


Odontites is derived from Greek and means 'tooth-related', a name which is in reference to Pliny the Elder using it to treat toothaches. Vernus means 'of the spring' (vernal).[6]


  1. ^ "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  2. ^ "Odontites vernus". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  3. ^ "Red Bartsia (Odontites vernus)". Nearctica. 2003. Retrieved 23 July 2009.
  4. ^ a b "Red Bartsia". Natural England. Retrieved 23 July 2009.
  5. ^ "English woodlands are losing their character". Planet Earth online. 22 July 2009. Retrieved 23 July 2009.
  6. ^ Gledhill, David (2008). "The Names of Plants". Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521866453 (hardback), ISBN 9780521685535 (paperback). pp 278, 400

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