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Gathering in Yellow Rattle seed - we'll sow it when (if) it rains again!

We were very fortunate to be offered the opportunity in June to collect a large quantity of Yellow rattle seed to sow on some of our less flowery sites. This has been a stunning year for Yellow rattle flowers:



After about two hours our group had harvested around 3kg including about one third husks and assorted insects. Apparently the going rate for rattle seed is around £200 per kg!



large numbers of these sawfly larvae appeared in the bucket, apparently off the rattle husks.

Watcombe sawfly larva side view.1

so far we have not found a species of sawfly restricted to rattle but it has been narrowed down to one of the Tenthredo arcuata complex (sawflies are a very difficult group!)