Stem. - Low, erect, branching. Leaves. - Opposite, lance-shaped. Flowers. - Small, greenish-yellow, solitary in the axils of the upper leases. Calyx. - Bell-shaped, four-cleft. Corolla. - Two-lipped, upper lip arched, lower three-lobed and spreading at the apex. Stamens. - Four. Pistil. - One.
In the open woods, from June until September, we encounter the pale yellow flowers of this rather insignificant little plant. The cow wheat was formerly cultivated by the Dutch as food for cattle. The Spanish name, Trigo de Vaca, would seem to indicate a similar custom in Spain. The generic name, Me-lampyrum, is from the Greek, and signifies black wheat, in reference to the appearance of the seeds of some species when mixed with grain. The flower would not be likely to attract one's attention were it not exceedingly common in some parts of the country, flourishing especially in our more eastern woodlands..