Orobanche fasciculata (Clustered Broomrape)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Genus:Orobanche
Family:Orobanchaceae (Broomrape)
Life cycle:annual
Origin:native
Status:
  • State Threatened
Habitat:part shade, sun; sandy or gravelly soil; prairies, dunes, woods, bluffs, sandstone outcrops
Bloom season:June - August
Plant height:4 to 8 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:none
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.

Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 5-petals Flower shape: tubular Cluster type: flat Cluster type: raceme

[photo of flowers] Flattish cluster of up to 12 long-stalked flowers arising from the tip of the stem. Flowers are tubular and slightly curved, held more or less horizontal, ½ to 1¼ inches long, white to violet or yellow, with 5 lobes that are generally equal in size and shape, and rounded or pointed at the tip. On either side of the bottom lobe and connected to the adjacent lobes is a small fold, typically colored bright yellow. 4 stamens hug the inside of the upper tube.

[photo of glandular-hairy calyx and stalk] The calyx cupping the flower is less than half the length of the floral tube, with 5 sharply pointed, narrowly triangular lobes about as long as or shorter than the calyx tube. The flower lobe surfaces, stalks, and outer surfaces of the floral tube and calyx are densely covered with sticky glandular hairs.

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: opposite Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves and stem] The stem is stout, half or more of it underground, in total about as long as the flowering stalks, with 2 or more egg-shaped scales with pointed tips around the base of the cluster of flower stalks. Stems, scales and flower stalks are variably colored, yellowish to grayish-tan to reddish-brown. Plants are often single, sometimes clustered, and apparently die off after flowering and setting seed.

Fruit: Fruit type: capsule/pod

Fruit is a 2-sectioned capsule containing many seeds.

Notes:

According to the DNR, only about 20 scattered populations of Orobanche fasciculata are known to exist in Minnesota. A plant without chlorophyll, it is an obligate parasite, completely dependent on a host plant for its moisture and carbohydrates to grow and reproduce, apparently preferring Artemisia species as hosts. Listed as Special Concern species in 1984, all three of our Orobanche species were elevated to Threatened in 2013, at risk from habitat loss due to agriculture, development, gravel mining, and invasive species. Most similar is the related One-flowered Broomrape (Orobanche uniflora), which has short, (mostly) below ground stems with up to 5 flowering stalks, flowers about ¾ inch long with calyx lobes a little longer than the calyx tube.

Please visit our sponsors

  • Minnesota Native Plant Society

Where to buy native seed and plants ↓

Map of native plant purveyors in the upper midwest

  • Prairie Restorations - Bringing people together with the land
  • Shop for native seeds and plants at PrairieMoon.com!
  • Shooting Star Native Seeds - Native Prairie Grass and Wildflower Seeds
  • Morning Sky Greenery - Native Prairie Plants
  • Minnesota Native Landscapes - Your Ecological Problem Solvers

More photos

Photos courtesy John Thayer taken in Wabasha County.

Comments

Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Post a comment

Note: All comments are moderated before posting to keep the riff-raff out. An email address is required, but will not be posted—it will only be used for information exchange between the 2 of us (if needed) and will never be given to a 3rd party without your express permission.

For info on subjects other than plant identification (gardening, invasive species control, edible plants, etc.), please check the links and invasive species pages for additional resources.



(required)




Note: Comments or information about plants outside of Minnesota and neighboring states may not be posted because Id like to keep the focus of this web site centered on Minnesota. Thanks for your understanding.