Odontites belongs to the core Rhinantheae. It is the sister genus to Bellardia, and then to Tozzia and Hedbergia. These taxa are closely related to the genus Euphrasia. In turn, these five genera share phylogenetic affinities with Bartsia.
One of the Odontites species, O. granatensis, endemic to the Sierra Nevada in Spain, was so threatened that in 1993 only 1,500 plants survived in two locations. Due to conservation efforts the plant has made a comeback, numbering over 100,000 in 2006.
It is widespread and common throughout the UK and Ireland. It is also found in northern and southern Europe, although it is absent from some of the islands in the Mediterranean region.
This plant is easy to overlook especially when growing in tallish grass. It is semi-parastic on the plants that grow alongside it, and is common on disturbed land and the sides of tracks as well as on the margins of farmland.
This plant might be poisonous
How to get rid of:
Here’s a natural remedy many gardeners find effective: Mix vinegar with a small amount of dish soap, put the mixture in a spray bottle, and spot treat Bellardi clumps. Just take care to avoid surrounding plants.