It usually grows in the same production zones as wheat and is considered a weed. The similarity between these two plants is so extensive that in some regions cockle is referred to as "false wheat." It bears a close resemblance to wheat until the ear appears. The ears on the real wheat are so heavy that it makes the entire plant droop downward, but the "false wheat", whose ears are light, stands up straight.
It parasites wheat fields. The French word for darnel is "ivraie" (from Latin "ebriacus"), which expresses that weed's characteristic of making one feel poisoned with drunkenness.
It is also gives its name to another edible grain, aquatic cockle, known as "false rice."