Blackwater Carr, Norfolk If not wealth for cuckoos, the flowers are indisputable riches for bumblebees

As I write I have a small canvas bag of yellow-rattle seed on my desk. It bulges now like a full purse and the disk-like flattened seeds jangle a little like cash when shuggled about. In fact, if I bought it commercially, it would be the equivalent of £30, which is not bad for two hours’ work.

I find it intriguing to discover how a suite of old names once did link yellow-rattle to manmade coin. In Somerset Rhinanthus minor was known simply as “money” and in Leicestershire as “money-grass”. I love most, however, a wry Lanarkshire coinage: “gowk’s sixpences” – “cuckoo’s sixpences”. It was probably intended to suggest the idea of fool’s gold, but for me it carries a different set of associations.

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Source: Guardian Environment