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Naked broomrape (Orobanche uniflora)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Orobanchaceae
Tribe: Orobancheae
Genus: Orobanche

See "Selected species"

Orobanche, commonly known as broomrape, is a genus of over 200 species of small parasitic herbaceous plants, mostly native to the temperate Northern Hemisphere.[1] It is the type genus of the broomrape family Orobanchaceae.


Broomrapes are generally small, only 10–60 centimetres (4–24 inches) tall depending on species. They are best recognized by the yellow- to straw-coloured stems completely lacking chlorophyll, bearing yellow, white, or blue snapdragon-like flowers. The flower shoots are scaly, with a dense terminal spike of 10-20 flowers in most species, although single in one-flowered broomrape (Orobanche uniflora). The leaves are merely triangular scales. The seeds are minute, tan or brown, blackening with age. These plants generally flower from late winter to late spring. When they are not flowering, no part of the plants is visible above the surface of the soil.


As they have no chlorophyll, the broomrapes are totally dependent on other plants for nutrients. Broomrape seeds remain dormant in the soil, often for many years, until stimulated to germinate by certain compounds produced by living plant roots.[2] Broomrape seedlings put out a root-like growth, which attaches to the roots of nearby hosts. Once attached to a host, the broomrape robs its host of water and nutrients.

Some species are only able to parasitise a single plant species, and they are often named after the plant they parasitise, such as ivy broomrape (O. hederae) being restricted to parasitising ivy. Others can infect several genera, such as the lesser broomrape O. minor, which lives on clover and other related Fabaceae.

Branched broomrape Orobanche ramosa, native to central and southwestern Europe but widely naturalised elsewhere, is considered a major threat to crops in some areas. Plants that it targets are tomato, eggplant, potato, cabbage, coleus, bell pepper, sunflower, celery, and beans. In heavily infested areas, branched broomrape can cause total crop failure.

The bean broomrape Orobanche crenata, which targets the fava bean, has stems that are gathered and eaten in the region of Apulia, in southern Italy, where they are given the name of sporchia.[3]


The generic name Orobanche comes from the Greek ὀροβάγχη (orobánkhē), from ὄροβος (órobos "bitter vetch") + ἄγχω (ánkhō (I) "strangle").[4][5] The common name "broomrape" comes from the English "broom" (a plant) + Latin rapum ('tuber').[6]

Selected species[edit]

Note that this list includes names of more recently described species that may, under further taxonomic scrutiny, prove to be synonyms of a single species. Also, some species formerly included in this genus have been referred to Conopholis.[7][8]

  1. Orobanche aconiti-lycoctoni Moreno Mor. et al.
  2. Orobanche aegyptiaca Pers. — Egyptian broomrape; Fenzhi broomrape
  3. Orobanche akiana Honda
  4. Orobanche alba Stephan ex Willd. — Thyme broomrape; baihua broomrape
  5. Orobanche alexandri Tineo
  6. Orobanche almeriensis A.Pujadas
  7. Orobanche alpigena K.Koch
  8. Orobanche alsatica Kirschl. — Alsace broomrape; Duose broomrape
  9. Orobanche amethystea Thuill. — Eryngium broomrape
  10. Orobanche amoena C.A.Mey.
  11. Orobanche anatolica Boiss. & Reut.
  12. Orobanche androssovii Novopokr.
  13. Orobanche angelicifixa Peteaux & St.-Lag.
  14. Orobanche angustisepala F.W.Schultz
  15. Orobanche angustelaciniata Gilli
  16. Orobanche arbuti Sennen
  17. Orobanche arcuata F.W.Schultz
  18. Orobanche arenaria Borkh. — Wormwood broomrape
  19. Orobanche ariana Gontsch.
  20. Orobanche armena Tzvelev
  21. Orobanche artemisiae-campestris Vaucher ex Gaudin
  22. Orobanche astragali Mouterde
  23. Orobanche auranitica Mouterde
  24. Orobanche australiana F.Muell.
  25. Orobanche austrohispanica M.J.Y.Foley
  26. Orobanche badchysensis Novopokr. & V.V.Nikitin
  27. Orobanche balearica Sennen & Pau
  28. Orobanche ballotae A.Pujadas
  29. Orobanche baumanniorum Greuter
  30. Orobanche benkertii Rätzel & Uhlich
  31. Orobanche berthelotti Webb & Berthel.
  32. Orobanche boissieri Rchb.f.
  33. Orobanche borbasiana Beck
  34. Orobanche borealis Turcz.
  35. Orobanche borissovae Novopokr.
  36. Orobanche brachypoda Novopokr.
  37. Orobanche bracteata Viv.
  38. Orobanche brassicae (Novopokr.) Novopokr.
  39. Orobanche brevidens Novopokr.
  40. Orobanche breviflora F.W.Schultz
  41. Orobanche bucharica Novopokr.
  42. Orobanche bulbosa Beck
  43. Orobanche bungeana Beck
  44. Orobanche caerulescens Steph. ex Willd.
  45. Orobanche calendulae Pomel
  46. Orobanche californica Cham. & Schltdl.
  47. Orobanche camptolepis Boiss. & Reut.
  48. Orobanche canescens C.Presl
  49. Orobanche carnea Guss.
  50. Orobanche caryophyllacea Sm. — Bedstraw broomrape; Simao broomstraw
  51. Orobanche cathae Deflers
  52. Orobanche caucasica Beck
  53. Orobanche caudata De Not.
  54. Orobanche cernua Loefl. — Nodding broomrape; Wanguan broomrape
  55. Orobanche chassia Formánek
  56. Orobanche chironii Lojac.
  57. Orobanche chrysacanthi Maire
  58. Orobanche cilicica Beck
  59. Orobanche cistanchoides Beck
  60. Orobanche clarkei Hook.f. — Xizang broomrape
  61. Orobanche clausonis Pomel
  62. Orobanche clavata Schiman-Czeika
  63. Orobanche clementei C.Vicioso
  64. Orobanche coelestis (Reut.) Boiss. & Reut. ex Beck — Changchi broomrape
  65. Orobanche coerulescens Stephan ex Willd.
  66. Orobanche colorata K.Koch
  67. Orobanche columbiana H.St.John & English
  68. Orobanche comosula Novopokr.
  69. Orobanche compacta Viv.
  70. Orobanche concreta Rouy
  71. Orobanche connata K.Koch
  72. Orobanche consimilis Schiman-Czeika
  73. Orobanche cooperi (A.Gray) A.Heller — Cooper's broomrape
  74. Orobanche corymbosa (Rydb.) Ferris — Flat-top broomrape
  75. Orobanche crenata Forssk. — Bean broomrape
  76. Orobanche cuprea Boiss. & Balansa ex Boiss.
  77. Orobanche curvata Pomel
  78. Orobanche cypria Kotschy
  79. Orobanche cyrenaica Beck
  80. Orobanche cyrnea Jeanm., Habashi & Manen
  81. Orobanche densiflora Salzm. ex Reut.
  82. Orobanche denudata Moris
  83. Orobanche dhofarensis M.J.Y.Foley
  84. Orobanche ducellieri Maire
  85. Orobanche dugesii (S.Watson) Munz
  86. Orobanche ebuli Huter & Rigo
  87. Orobanche elatior Sutton — Knapweed broomrape; Duanchun broomrape
  88. Orobanche eriophora Bornm. & Gauba
  89. Orobanche esulae Pančić
  90. Orobanche euglossa Rchb.f.
  91. Orobanche fasciculata Nutt. — Cluster broomrape; fascicled broomrape
  92. Orobanche feddei H.Lév.
  93. Orobanche felicicola Nakai ex Hyun, Y.S.Lim & H.C.Shin
  94. Orobanche flava Mart. ex F.W.Schultz — Butterbur broomrape
  95. Orobanche foetida Poir.
  96. Orobanche fuliginosa Reut. ex Jord.
  97. Orobanche fuscovinosa Maire
  98. Orobanche gamosepala Reut.
  99. Orobanche georgii-reuteri (Carlon et al.) A.Pujadas
  100. Orobanche glabrata C.A.Mey.
  101. Orobanche glabricaulis Tzvelev
  102. Orobanche gontscharovii Novopokr. & Nepli
  103. Orobanche gracilis Sm. — Slender broomrape
  104. Orobanche grandisepala F.W.Schultz
  105. Orobanche grayana Beck — Gray's broomrape
  106. Orobanche grigorjevii Novopokr.
  107. Orobanche grisebachii Reut.
  108. Orobanche grossheimii Novopokr.
  109. Orobanche hadroantha Beck
  110. Orobanche haenseleri Reut.
  111. Orobanche hederae Duby – Ivy broomrape
  112. Orobanche helianthemi J.St.-Hil.
  113. Orobanche hellebori Miégev.
  114. Orobanche hermonis Mouterde
  115. Orobanche hirtiflora Tzvelev
  116. Orobanche hookeriana Ball
  117. Orobanche humbertii Maire
  118. Orobanche hydrocotylei Colenso
  119. Orobanche hymenocalyx Reut.
  120. Orobanche hypertomentosa M.J.Y.Foley
  121. Orobanche iammonensis A.Pujadas & P.Fraga
  122. Orobanche ianthina Franch.
  123. Orobanche icterica Pau
  124. Orobanche insignis E.D.Clarke
  125. Orobanche insolita Guim.
  126. Orobanche interrupta Pers.
  127. Orobanche inulae Novopokr. & Abramov
  128. Orobanche ionantha Kern.
  129. Orobanche irtyschensis Serg.
  130. Orobanche karatavica Pavlov
  131. Orobanche kashmirica C.B.Clarke ex Hook.f.
  132. Orobanche kelleri Novopokr. — Duanchi broomrape
  133. Orobanche kotschyi Reut. — Yitong broomrape
  134. Orobanche krylowii Beck — Siduomao broomrape
  135. Orobanche kurdica Boiss. & Hausskn.
  136. Orobanche lactucae Arv.-Touv.
  137. Orobanche langei Huter, Porta & Rigo
  138. Orobanche lanuginosa (C.A.Mey.) Beck ex Krylov — Mao broomrape
  139. Orobanche laserpitii-sileris Reut. ex Jord.
  140. Orobanche latisquama (F.W.Schultz) Batt.
  141. Orobanche lavandulacea Rchb.
  142. Orobanche laxissima Uhlich & Rätzel
  143. Orobanche leptantha Pomel
  144. Orobanche linczevskii Novopokr.
  145. Orobanche longibracteata Schiman-Czeika
  146. Orobanche lucana Terracc.
  147. Orobanche lucorum A.Braun — Barberry Broomrape
  148. Orobanche ludoviciana Nutt. — Prairie broomrape; desert broomrape
  149. Orobanche lutea Baumg. — Medick broomrape
  150. Orobanche lycica F.W.Schultz
  151. Orobanche mariana A.Pujadas
  152. Orobanche maritima Pugsley — Carrot broomrape
  153. Orobanche megalantha Harry Sm. — Dahua broomrape
  154. Orobanche melitensis Beck
  155. Orobanche minor Sm. — Common broomrape; clover broomrape; lesser broomrape; small broomrape
  156. Orobanche mongolica Beck — Zhonghua broomrape
  157. Orobanche montserratii A.Pujadas & D.Gómez García
  158. Orobanche mulgedii Novopokr.
  159. Orobanche multicaulis Brandegee
  160. Orobanche mupinensis Hu — Baoxing broomrape
  161. Orobanche muteliformis F.J.Y.Foley
  162. Orobanche myrtilli H.Lév. & É.Labbé
  163. Orobanche nikitinii Novopokr.
  164. Orobanche nowackiana Markgr.
  165. Orobanche obtusata Raf.
  166. Orobanche ombrochares Hance — Maoyao broomrape
  167. Orobanche orientalis Beck
  168. Orobanche oxyloba (Reut.) Beck
  169. Orobanche ovata Blakelock
  170. Orobanche ozanonis Beck
  171. Orobanche pachypoda Butkov
  172. Orobanche palaestina[9]
  173. Orobanche pamim-alaica Gontsch. & Novopokr.
  174. Orobanche pancicii Beck
  175. Orobanche paralias L.Corb.
  176. Orobanche parishii (Jeps.) Heckard
  177. Orobanche pedunculata Vell.
  178. Orobanche pelargonii Caldesi
  179. Orobanche penduliflora Gilli
  180. Orobanche perangustata M.J.Y.Foley
  181. Orobanche petraea Vell.
  182. Orobanche picridis F.W.Schultz — Oxtongue broomrape
  183. Orobanche pinorum Geyer ex Hook.
  184. Orobanche portoilicitana A.Pujadas & M.B.Crespo
  185. Orobanche psila C.B.Clarke ex Hook.f.
  186. Orobanche psilostemon Novopokr.
  187. Orobanche pubescens d'Urv. — Hairy broomrape
  188. Orobanche pulchra Gilli
  189. Orobanche purpurea Jacq. — Yarrow broomrape
  190. Orobanche pushpitoi M.R.Almeida
  191. Orobanche pycnostachya Hance — Huanghua broomrape
  192. Orobanche ramosa L. — Branched broomrape; hemp broomrape
  193. Orobanche rapum-genistae Thuill. — Greater broomrape
  194. Orobanche rechingeri Gilli
  195. Orobanche reticulata Wallr. — Thistle broomrape
  196. Orobanche rhaetica Brügger
  197. Orobanche riparia L.T.Collins
  198. Orobanche rosea Tzvelev
  199. Orobanche salviae F.W.Schultz ex Koch
  200. Orobanche sanguinea C.Presl
  201. Orobanche santolinae Loscos & J.Pardo
  202. Orobanche sarmatica Kotov
  203. Orobanche schelkovnikovii Tzvelev
  204. Orobanche schugnanica Novopokr.
  205. Orobanche schultzii Mutel
  206. Orobanche schweinfurthii Beck
  207. Orobanche schwingenschussii Gilli
  208. Orobanche scolymi Pomel
  209. Orobanche serbica Beck & Petrovič
  210. Orobanche serratocalyx Beck
  211. Orobanche sideana Gilli
  212. Orobanche sideritis Porta
  213. Orobanche sinensis Harry Sm. (Sichuan broomrape)
  214. Orobanche singarensis Beck ex Hand.-Mazz.
  215. Orobanche sintenisii Beck
  216. Orobanche sogdiana Novopokr.
  217. Orobanche solenanthi Novopokr. & Pissjauk.
  218. Orobanche solmsii C.B.Clarke (Changbao broomrape)
  219. Orobanche sordida C.A.Mey. — Danhuang broomrape
  220. Orobanche stans Noronha
  221. Orobanche stocksii Boiss.
  222. Orobanche subverticillata F.W.Schultz
  223. Orobanche tacnaensis Mattf.
  224. Orobanche tarapacana Phil.
  225. Orobanche tetuanensis Ball
  226. Orobanche teucrii Holandre — Germander broomrape
  227. Orobanche todari Lojac.
  228. Orobanche transcaucasica Tzvelev
  229. Orobanche trichocalyx (Webb & Berthel.) Beck
  230. Orobanche trotzkii Wagn. ex Claus
  231. Orobanche tunetana Beck
  232. Orobanche uniflora L. — Naked broomrape; one-flower cancer-root
  233. Orobanche uralensis Beck — Duochi broomrape
  234. Orobanche ussuriensis Novopokr.
  235. Orobanche valida Jeps.
  236. Orobanche vallicola (Jeps.) Heckard
  237. Orobanche viridis Hazsl.
  238. Orobanche vitellina Novopokr.
  239. Orobanche weberbaueri Mattf.
  240. Orobanche wiedemanni Boiss.
  241. Orobanche xanthostachya Novopokr.
  242. Orobanche yunnanensis (Beck) Hand.-Mazz. — Dianlie Broomrape


  1. ^ Beck-Mannagetta, G. (1930) Orobanchaceae. In Engler, A. (ed.) Das Pflanzenreich 4: 1-348. (Engelmann:Leipzig).
  2. ^ Yoder, J.I. (2001) Host-plant recognition by parasitic Scrophulariaceae. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 4:359-365.
  3. ^ Luard, E. European peasant cookery, Grub Street, 2004, p.380
  4. ^ Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, Literature and Art (1868). Report & transactions. p. 256.
  5. ^ ὄροβος, ἄγχω. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project.
  6. ^ rapum. Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short. A Latin Dictionary on Perseus Project.
  7. ^ GRIN. "Species in GRIN for genus Orobanche". Taxonomy for Plants. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland: USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved October 30, 2009.
  8. ^ "Plant Name Query Results for Orobanche". IPNI. Retrieved November 1, 2009.
  9. ^ "Orobanche palaestina Reut. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science".

External links[edit]