An annual root-hemiparasite of nutrient-poor grasslands, including permanent pastures, hay meadows, the drier parts of fens, flushes in lowland and upland grasslands, and on montane ledges; also on roadsides and waste ground. 0-1065 m (Ben Lawers, Mid Perth).
R. minor declined throughout the 20th century in semi-natural grasslands. It is now included in many wild-flower seed mixtures. It is very variable and six intergrading and apparently inter-fertile subspecies have been recognised in our area. However, whilst they show broad geographic and ecological distinctions, some local races cannot be clearly assigned to any of them.
European Boreo-temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.