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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.

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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