This broomrape is found throughout most of central and southern Europe, and as far north as southern Scotland and southern Sweden. Originally a Mediterranean species, this broomrape probably arrived in other parts of Europe as a result of being imported with the seeds of other plants.
Left: Orobanche minor - one of the nine native species of broomrapes in the UK - is also present throughout much of Europe.
Orobanche minor varies in height from 10 to 70 cm, and it appears in a bewildering number of colours from red-brown, yellow-brown to purple. Yellow specimens are also not uncommon; the extreme variability of this wildflower makes identification on the basis of size or colour problematic.
Common Broomrape is parasitic on various members of the Pea (Fabaceae) and Daisy (Asteraceae) families. Although widespread, its appearance is sporadic; despite this it can occur in vast colonies from time to time. The main flowering season is from May until the end of August.
The specimens shown on this page were photographed at Kenfig National Nature Reserve in Wales.