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Melampyrum lineare (Narrowleaf cow-wheat)
Smith, R.W.

Melampyrum lineare

Melampyrum lineare Desr.

Narrowleaf Cow-wheat, Narrow-leaved Cow-wheat, Cow Wheat

Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)


USDA Symbol: MELI2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N), SPM (N)

A low, upward-branching plant with small, tubular, creamy white, 2-lipped flowers on short stalks in axils of upper leaves.

This small, native, woodland annual has flowers that resemble a snakes head. The genus name is from the Greek for black and wheat and refers to the black seeds found in some species.


From the Image Gallery

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: CT , DC , DE , GA , ID , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MT , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NS , PE
Native Distribution: Alberta east to Newfoundland, south to Georgia, and northwest to Tennessee, Illinois, and Minnesota; also in Montana, Idaho, and Washington.
Native Habitat: Dry to moist woods, bogs, and rocky barrens.

Growing Conditions

Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist


Warning: Alfalfa can be toxic to animals and mildly toxic to some humans if ingested. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a personís age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small si
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Melampyrum lineare in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Melampyrum lineare in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Melampyrum lineare


Record Modified: 2016-02-11
Research By: TWC Staff

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