Horticultural Protocols to Aid the Conservation of Melampyrum sylvaticum, Orobanchaceae (Small Cow-Wheat), an Endangered Hemiparasitic Plant

  • Rhiannon Crichton Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
  • Sarah E. Dalrymple Centre for Evidence-Based Conservation, Bangor Wales
  • Peter M. Hollingsworth Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh


Small cow-wheat is an annual, hemiparasitic plant that is endangered in the UK. Attempts at restoration have been hampered by a lack of species-specific horticultural knowledge. This paper outlines the methods used to collect, store and germinate small cow-wheat seed, and to cultivate the plant at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. The germination rates achieved using two different approaches are reported and the factors potentially influencing germination and establishment success are discussed.

Author Biographies

Rhiannon Crichton, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
PhD Student
Sarah E. Dalrymple, Centre for Evidence-Based Conservation, Bangor Wales
Conservation Ecologist
Peter M. Hollingsworth, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Director of Science


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How to Cite
Crichton, R., Dalrymple, S. E., & Hollingsworth, P. M. (2012). Horticultural Protocols to Aid the Conservation of Melampyrum sylvaticum, Orobanchaceae (Small Cow-Wheat), an Endangered Hemiparasitic Plant. Sibbaldia: The International Journal of Botanic Garden Horticulture, (10), 57-69. https://doi.org/10.23823/Sibbaldia/2012.67