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Genus Orobanche Family Orobanchaceae
Common Name: Broomrapes

Description: Perennial, biennial or annual herbs without chlorophyll, parasitic on roots of other plants; stems erect.

Leaves alternate, scale-like.

Inflorescence a terminal spike, many-flowered; bracts conspicuous; bracteoles absent. Sepals 4 or 5, unequally united to form 2 free calyx segments. Corolla tubular, 2-lipped, 5-lobed. Stamens 4, didynamous, inserted on corolla tube; anthers 2-locular often basally awned, dehiscing by slits. Stigma 2-lobed.

Capsule 1-locular, enclosed in persistent calyx and corolla; seeds numerous, small.


Distribution and occurrence: World: 140 species, temperate & subtropical regions., chiefly northern Eurasia. Australia: 2 or 3 species (1 species native, 1 species naturalized), all States except N.T.

The traditional separation of this genus into the family Orobanchaceae with 10 genera and c. 180 species is not founded. Coloration of the style and corolla is important for separating species but is poorly documented in Australia.

Text by W. R. Barker
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Lateral calyx segments entire at base, as broad as the corolla; corolla more or less glabrous except for small patches of hairs, lobes obscurely crenate; anthers drying white, filaments galbrous; glandular hairs on inflorescence more or less appressedOrobanche cernua
Lateral calyx segments bifid at base, much narrower than corolla; corolla glandular-pubescent, lobes densely and irregularly toothed; anthers drying purple-black, filaments hairy in lower third; glandular hairs on inflorescence spreadingOrobanche minor

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