This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol5-6", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
Rest Harrow(Ononis repens, L. = O. arvensis, L.). - The habitat of this plant is dry pastures, barren, sandy places, sandy shores. The habit is shrubb)', prostrate, then ascending (hence repens). The stem is hairy all round, spineless, clammy, with soft hairs, with stolons, rooting at the base. The leaflets are broad, oblong, the lateral sometimes wanting. The flowers are rose colour, axillary, solitary, stalked. The wings equal the keel, the standard being rather longer. The pods are egg-shaped, erect, not so long as the calyx, the seeds tubercled. The plant is 1-2 ft. high, flowering from June to September, and is a herbaceous or shrubby perennial.
The habitat of this plant is dry gravelly and sandy pastures. The habit is prostrate. The stems are numerous, hairy. The leaflets are hairy, broadly, inversely heart-shaped. The stipules are egg-shaped, pointed. The flowers are white, longer than the calyx, 2-5 in a head. The stalks are erect at first, curved after flowering, and the plant buries the fruit in the ground (hence subter-raneuvi). The calyx is hairless, with threadlike teeth, equal, as long as the tube, inflated in fruit, then split lengthwise. The abortive calyces are numerous, slender, with 5 rigid points. The pod is rounded, flattened at the margin. The seeds are shining. The plant is 2-18 in. long, flowering in May and June, and is a herbaceous annual.
The habitat of this plant is dry gravelly soils, dry pastures, waysides, in the eastern counties, clover fields, ballast hills. The habit is erect or ascending. The plant is softly downy. The lower leaves are long-stalked, the leaflets inversely egg-shaped, elliptic, oblong, the tip entire or notched, the lower notched, or heart-shaped. The stipules are lance-shaped, awl-like, parallel with the stem to the middle. The flowers are cream colour, brown when old, in round, then egg-shaped, solitary, terminal stalked heads. The calyx is downy, 10-veined, half as long as the corolla, the teeth spiny, spreading, bent back in fruit, the stalks short, opposite a pair of leaves. The lower tooth of the calyx is longer than the tube, the others two-thirds shorter. The pod is ribbed. The top falls away when ripe. The plant is 6-18 in. high, flowering from June to August, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this plant is dry places on short turf. The habit is erect. The plant is downy. The leaves are short-stalked. The leaflets are hairless, inversely egg-shaped, the lower roundish, the veins equal, straight at the border. The stipules are oblong, with an awl-like point. The flowers are small, pale yellow or white, in axillary and terminal, oblong, egg-shaped, cylindric, stalk-less, paired heads. The teeth of the calyx are erect, as long as the corolla, hairless, spinose, lance-shaped, awl-like, the calyx with a ring in the throat, 10-veined, with one strong prominent vein. The pod is enclosed in the calyx. The seeds are oval, brownish-yellow, with a prominent radicle. The plant is 2-4 in. high, flowering in June and July, and is a herbaceous annual.