Cistanche phelypaea

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Lamiales - Family: Orobanchaceae

Cistanche phelypaea

This broomrape is localised in parts of the Mediterranean and is parasitic on woody Goosefoots of the Chenopodiaceae family.

Cistanche phelypaea is one of the approximately 150 species of the Broomrape family that occur in the Mediterranean region. It grows in lowland areas, often in damp estuary sand habitats, but it is both rare and localised.


An impressive wildflower, Cistanche phelypaea grows up to 40cm in height, but this varies depending on the habitat and position of the plant - some can be much shorter. The flowers are big and bright yellow with a five-lobed corolla, while the leaves are much smaller and scale-like in appearance.

Cistanche phelypaea - closeup of flowers

Above: A close-up picture of the Cistanche phelypaea flower with its distinctive five-lobed corolla


Cistanche phelypaea grows in Portugal, Spain, Crete, Cyprus, Turkey, and in the eastern part of the Mediterranean region.

Blooming times

Cistance phellypaea blooms in March and April.

Cistanche, Alvor Estuary, Portugal

The specimens shown on this page where photographed in April in the Parque Natural de Rio Formosa and on the Alvor Estuary in the Algarve region of Portugal.

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