Orobanche minor Sm.

lesser broom-rape

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Lesser broom-rape is a parasitic plant (that is, it obtains all its nutrients from the roots of its host plants, which it penetrates by means of haustoria or specialized roots). It is native to Europe, western Asia and northern Africa. Its preferred hosts are the pea (Fabaceae) and daisy (Asteraceae) families, although it can parasitize many other species. Heavy infestations can lead to crop failure, especially in clovers (Trifolium), leading to the federal listing of this species as a noxious weed. In addition, it is poisonous to mammal grazers.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats)

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
Vermont
Flower petal color
  • blue to purple
  • white
  • yellow
Leaf type
the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaf arrangement
alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
the edge of the leaf blade is entire (has no teeth or lobes)
Flower symmetry
there is only one way to evenly divide the flower (the flower is bilaterally symmetrical)
Number of sepals, petals or tepals
  • there are five petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
  • there are four petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
  • there are two petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
Fusion of sepals and petals
the petals or the sepals are fused into a cup or tube
Stamen number
4
Fruit type (general)
the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe
Fruit length
8–10 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Clonal plantlets
    Bulbils
    the plant does not appear to have bulbils
    Bulblets replace flowers
    there are no bulblets where the flowers are located
  • Flowers
    Anther attachment
    the anther is attached near its midpoint to the filament
    Anther color
    the anthers show no hint of a pink, reddish or purplish tint
    Anther opening
    the anthers have narrow slits or furrows that run lengthwise along the anthers
    Anther spurs
    the anthers do not have spurs on them
    Anther tube length
    0 mm
    Calyx growth after flowering
    the calyx does not grow to cover or partially cover the fruit
    Calyx symmetry
    there is only one way to evenly divide the calyx (the calyx is bilaterally symmetrical)
    Carpels fused
    the carpels are fused to one another
    Cilia on petals
    the petal margins do not have cilia
    Cleistogamous flowers
    there are no cleistogamous flowers on the plan
    Corolla morphology
    • the flower has a concave, hood-like, upper lip
    • the flower has two prominent lips
    Corolla palate
    no
    Corona lobe length
    0 mm
    Epicalyx
    the flower does not have an epicalyx
    Epicalyx number of parts
    0
    Filament surface
    • the filament has rough hairs or scales on it
    • the filament is smooth, with no hairs or scales
    Flower description
    the flower has a superior ovary, and lacks a hypanthium
    Flower number
    At least 3
    Flower orientation
    the flower points upwards or is angled outwards
    Flower petal color
    • blue to purple
    • white
    • yellow
    Flower reproductive parts
    the flower has both pollen- and seed-producing parts
    Flower symmetry
    there is only one way to evenly divide the flower (the flower is bilaterally symmetrical)
    Flowers sunken into stem
    no
    Form of style
    the style is lobed at the tip, and unbranched
    Fringed petal edges
    the petals are fringed
    Fused stamen clusters
    NA
    Fusion of sepals and petals
    the petals or the sepals are fused into a cup or tube
    Hairs on flower stalk
    NA
    Hairs on inflorescence
    at least some of the hairs on the axis of the inflorescence have glands
    Horns in hoods (Asclepias)
    NA
    Hypanthium
    the flower does not have a hypanthium
    Hypanthium length
    0 mm
    Inflorescence length
    30–300 mm
    Inflorescence one-sided
    the flowers are arrayed in a spiral around the inflorescence axis or branches, or occur singly, or in several ranks
    Inflorescence width
    20–40 mm
    Inner tepals (Rumex)
    NA
    Interior flower disk
    the flower does not have an interior disc
    Length of flower stalk
    0 mm
    Marks on petals
    the petals have spots or streaks on them
    Nectar spur
    the flower has no nectar spurs
    Number of branches in umbel
    0
    Number of carpels
    2
    Number of pistils
    1
    Number of sepals, petals or tepals
    • there are five petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
    • there are four petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
    • there are two petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
    Number of styles
    1
    Ovary position
    the ovary is above the point of petal and/or sepal attachment
    Perianth shape
    • the perianth is campanulate (bell-shaped, with a tube about as long as wide, flaring at the mouth)
    • the perianth is cylindric (tube-shaped)
    Petal and sepal arrangement
    the flower includes two cycles of petal- or sepal-like structures
    Petal and sepal colors
    • blue to purple
    • white
    • yellow
    Petal appearance
    the petals are thin and delicate, and pigmented (colored other than green or brown)
    Petal base
    • NA
    • the petal narrows gradually or does not narrow at the base
    Petal glandular dots or scales
    no
    Petal hairs (Viola)
    NA
    Petal hairs on inner/upper surface
    there are hairs on the inner/upper petal surface
    Petal length
    10–15 mm
    Petal length relative to sepals
    the petals are longer than the sepals
    Petal nectaries
    the petals do not have nectaries
    Petal number
    5
    Petal shape
    the petal outline is another shape
    Petal tip shape
    • the petal tip is lobed or fringed
    • the petal tip is retuse (with a blunt or rounded apex and a notch at the center)
    Petal tips (Cuscuta)
    NA
    Raceme attachment (Veronica)
    NA
    Reproductive system
    all the flowers have both carpels and stamens (synoecious)
    Scales inside corolla
    no
    Sepal and petal color
    the sepals are different from the petals
    Sepal appearance
    the sepals are green or brown, and leaf-like in texture
    Sepal appendages
    the sepals do not have appendages on them
    Sepal appendages (Oenothera)
    NA
    Sepal auricles
    the sepals have no auricles
    Sepal cilia
    the sepals do not have cilia
    Sepal color
    • green to brown
    • pink to red
    Sepal length
    7–12 mm
    Sepal number
    2–4
    Sepal orientation
    the sepals are slightly curved outwards from the corolla
    Sepal relative length
    the sepal lobes are longer than the fused portion
    Sepal shape
    the sepal outline is lanceolate (lance-shaped; narrow, gradually tapering from the base to the tip)
    Sepal texture
    the sepals are fleshy or spongy
    Sepal tip shape
    the sepal tip is acuminate (tapers to a very narrow point)
    Sepal uniformity
    one or more of the sepals is much narrower or shorter than the others
    Sepals fused only to sepals
    the sepals are separate from one another
    Spur length
    0 mm
    Spur number
    NA
    Stamen appendages
    stamen appendages are absent
    Stamen attachment
    • the stamens are attached at or near the bases of the petals or tepals
    • the stamens are attached at or near the bases of the petals or tepals
    Stamen lengths differ
    the stamens are didynamous (two long stamens and two short ones)
    Stamen morphology
    the stamens within a cycle differ in length or width
    Stamen number
    4
    Stamen position relative to petals
    NA
    Stamen relative length
    anything
    Stamens fused
    the stamens are not attached to one another
    Staminodes
    there are no staminodes on the flower
    Stigma position
    the stigmas are positioned at the tip of the style
    Style petal-like
    the styles are not petal-like
    Style relative length
    the stigma does not protrude beyond the mouth of the corolla
    Umbel flower reproductive parts
    NA
    Upper lip of bilabiate corolla
    • the upper lip of the bilabiate corolla has one lobe
    • the upper lip of the bilabiate corolla has two lobes
  • Fruits or seeds
    Achene relative orientation
    NA
    Achene shape
    NA
    Achene surface (Polygonum)
    NA
    Achene type
    NA
    Berry color
    NA
    Capsule color (Viola)
    NA
    Capsule ribs
    the capsule has two prominent ribs or wings
    Capsule splitting
    the capsule splits by two main valves, teeth or pores
    Fruit (pyxis) dehiscence
    NA
    Fruit features (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    Fruit length
    8–10 mm
    Fruit length relative to sepals
    the fruit is shorter than its associated sepals
    Fruit locules
    one
    Fruit shape
    the fruit is obloid (longer than wide and with rounded ends)
    Fruit stalk orientation
    NA
    Fruit type (general)
    the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe
    Fruit type (specific)
    the fruit is a capsule (splits along two or more seams, apical teeth or pores when dry, to release two or more seeds)
    Legumes (Fabaceae)
    NA
    Mericarp length
    0 mm
    Mericarp segment shape (Desmodium)
    NA
    Other markings on berry
    NA
    Ovary stipe
    the ovary or fruit does not have a stipe
    Ovary stipe length
    0 mm
    Placenta arrangement
    the plant has parietal placentation, where ovules develop on the wall or slight outgrowths of the wall forming broken partitions within a compound ovary
    Rows of seeds in fruit (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    Schizocarpic fruit compression
    NA
    Schizocarpic fruit segments
    0
    Seed length
    0.3–0.4 mm
    Seed relative length
    the seed is longer than it is wide
    Seed surface
    the seed is covered with reticulate markings (a netlike pattern due to splitting and rejoining of lines or ridges)
    Seeds comose
    no hairs
    Septum in fruit (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    Wings on fruit
    the fruit does not have wings on it
    prickles on fruits
    the fruits do not have thorn-like defensive structures
  • Glands or sap
    Glands on leaf blade
    the leaf blades do not have glandular dots or scales
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
    Sap color
    the sap is clear
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant is an herb (it has self-supporting stems)
    Horizontal rooting stem
    the plant does not have stolons
    Lifespan
    the plant lives more than two years
    Parasitism
    the plant is parasitic on other plants (partially or completely dependent on other plants to supply nutrients)
    Plant color
    the plant lacks green pigments, even on the leaves or young stems
    Plants darken when dry
    yes
    Spines on plant
    the plant has no spines
    Underground organs
    the plant has one or more swollen storage organs underground, such as bulbs, tubers or corms
  • Leaves
    Bracteole edges
    NA
    Bracteole length
    0 mm
    Bracteole number (Apiaceae)
    0
    Bracteole shape
    NA
    Bracteoles
    there are no bracteoles on the plant
    Bracts in plantain (Plantago)
    NA
    Final leaf segment length (compound lvs only)
    0 mm
    Final leaf segment length to width ratio (compound lvs only)
    0
    Final leaf segment width (compound lvs only)
    0 mm
    Floral bracts
    the flower has one or more bracts associated with it
    Flower bract length
    7–15 mm
    Hairs on leaf stalk
    NA
    Hairs on underside of leaf
    the underside of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    Hairs on upper side of leaf
    the upper side of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    Hooked hairs on underside of leaf
    no
    Inflated hairs on leaf
    the leaf blade does not have inflated hairs on it
    Leaf arrangement
    alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Leaf blade base
    • the leaf has no stalk
    • the leaf has no stalk and at the base it clasps the stem
    Leaf blade base shape
    the base of the leaf blade is rounded
    Leaf blade base symmetry
    the leaf blade base is symmetrical
    Leaf blade bloom
    the underside of the leaf has no noticeable bloom
    Leaf blade edges
    the edge of the leaf blade is entire (has no teeth or lobes)
    Leaf blade flatness
    the leaf is flat (planar) at the edges
    Leaf blade hairs
    the leaf blade has hairs with glands at their tips
    Leaf blade length
    10–15 mm
    Leaf blade primary vein pattern
    NA
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is linear (very narrow with more or less parallel sides)
    • the leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    Leaf blade surface colors
    • NA
    • the upper side of the leaf blade is relatively uniform in color
    Leaf blade texture
    the leaf blade has a fleshy or spongy texture
    Leaf blade vein pattern
    NA
    Leaf blade veins
    NA
    Leaf blade width
    1–3 mm
    Leaf duration
    the leaves drop off in winter (or they whither but persist on the plant)
    Leaf folding in bud
    leaves in bud are arranged in a cycle with edges overlapping like roof shingles
    Leaf form
    • NA
    • the leaves are small and thin and lack leaf stalks
    Leaf hair orientation
    the hairs are standing up straight or curved in different directions
    Leaf sheath length
    0 mm
    Leaf shiny
    the upper side of the leaf is dull or slightly shiny
    Leaf spines
    there are no spines on the leaf edges
    Leaf stalk
    the leaves have no leaf stalks, but attach directly to the stem
    Leaf stalk attachment to leaf
    NA
    Leaf stalk base
    NA
    Leaf stalk length
    0 mm
    Leaf teeth and lobes
    the edge of the leaf blade is entire (has no teeth or lobes)
    Leaf tip
    the tip of the leaf blade is acute (sharply pointed)
    Leaf tufts in axils
    there are no clusters of smaller leaves growing out of axils
    Leaf type
    the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Leaf types
    There is a gradual change in appearance of the leaves from the base (or near the base) of the plant to those from further up on the stem, with leaves progressively changing as one moves higher on the stem (often becoming shorter, or less toothed/lobed, and/or with shorter petioles).
    Leaf variation
    the leaves are nearly similar in size, prominence of teeth, and length of stalks throughout the stem
    Leaflet number
    0
    Leaflet petiolules
    NA
    Leaves per node
    there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Pinnately compound leaf type
    NA
    Specific leaf type
    the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Stipels
    NA
    Stipule edges
    NA
    Stipule features
    NA
    Stipule fused to leaf stalk
    NA
    Stipule length
    0 mm
    Stipule shape
    NA
    Stipules
    there are no stipules on the plant
    Teeth per side of leaf blade
    0
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    Vermont
    Specific habitat
    man-made or disturbed habitats
  • Scent
    Plant odor
    the plant does not have much of a smell
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Branched tendrils
    NA
    Direction of stem hairs
    the hairs point mostly upwards to outwards
    Flowering stem cross-section
    the flowering stem is circular, or with lots of small angles so that it is roughly circular
    Hair between stem nodes
    the stem has hairs between the nodes
    Hairs between stem nodes
    at least some of the hairs on the stem have glands
    Hooked hairs on stem between nodes
    no
    Leaves on stem
    there is at least one full leaf above the base of the flowering stem
    Plant height
    15–50 cm
    Stem bloom
    there is no powdery or waxy film on the stem
    Stem hair distribution
    the hairs on the stem are distributed more of less uniformly
    Stem nodes swollen
    the stem is not swollen at the nodes
    Stem orientation
    the stems are upright or angled outwards
    Stem roughness between nodes
    the stem does not feel rough
    Stem spacing
    the plant is solitary, or a few plants are growing together
    Tendril origin
    NA
    Tendrils
    the plant does not have tendrils
    Wings on stem
    the stem has wings on it that run down the stem from the leaf nodes

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
absent
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
absent
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
present, invasive, prohibited

Conservation Status

None

Native to North America?

No

Sometimes Confused With

Conopholis americana

Family

Orobanchaceae

Genus

Orobanche

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Orobanche minor Sm. E

lesser broom-rape. VT. Gardens. Parasitic on many different genera, including Trifolium.