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Orobanche foetida

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

Orobanche foetida at Cape St Vincent

Above: Orobanche foetida - one of the 150 broomrape species that occur mainly in the Mediterranean region

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.

Orobanche foetida - closeup

Orobanche foetida growing in the dunes close to Cape St. Vincent in the Algarve region of Portugal

Orobanche foetida, detail picture

A close-up photograph of the flowers of Orobanche foetida

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.


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