Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Lamiales - Family: Orobanchaceae
This tall and robust broomrape occurs in the Iberian Peninsula, Tunisia and the Balearic Islands.
A distinctive wildflower, this broomrape is parasitic on various members of the Pea family (Fabaceae). It can grow up to about 50cm in height and has deep red-to-purple flowers that sometimes have purple stigmas and a rather unpleasant smell - hence the specific epithet. This broomrape normally uses wild plants as its host, but it is beginning to become a problem with farm crops in some areas.
The plants shown on this page were photographed in April in the sand dunes around the Cape St. Vincent area of the Algarve, in Portugal. Orobanche foetida is common in the area, frequently appearing in the fields and abandoned farmland as well as in the dune systems along the coast.
We hope that you have found this information helpful. If so we are sure you would find our books Wonderful Wildflowers of Wales, vols 1 to 4, by Sue Parker and Pat O'Reilly very useful too. Buy copies here...