Orobanche minor - Common (Small, Lesser) Broomrape

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

Orobanche minor

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

A close-up photograph of the flowers of Orobanche minor

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.

Please Help Us: If you have found this information interesting and useful, please consider helping to keep First Nature online by making a small donation towards the web hosting and internet costs.

Any donations over and above the essential running costs will help support the conservation work of Plantlife, the Rivers Trust and charitable botanic gardens - as do author royalties and publisher proceeds from books by Pat and Sue.

© 1995 - 2022 First Nature: a not-for-profit volunteer-run resource

Please help to keep this free resource online...

Terms of use - Privacy policy - Disable cookies - Links policy