Practical ecological knowledge for the temperate reader.

Orobanche Sp. - Broomrape

Family: Orobanchaceae (Broom-rape) [E-flora]

"Annual, perennial herb, not green (holoparasites), generally glandular-puberulent distally; root attachment occasionally tuber-like. Stem: simple or branched. Inflorescence: generally ± spike-like (proximal flowers often short-pedicelled or on short branches), generally dense; flowers generally > 20; bracts generally lanceolate to deltate (wider on peduncle); bractlets 0 or 2. Flower: calyx lobes 4–5; corolla glandular-puberulent, generally lacking ring of hairs at stamen bases, upper lip erect to reflexed, 2-lobed, lower lip 3-lobed, spreading, throat floor with yellow folds; anthers glabrous to hairy; stigma lobes generally 2. Fruit: 2-valved; placentas generally 2, often lobed. Seed: < 0.7 mm.
140 species: worldwide, especially Mediterranean. (Greek: vetch strangler, from parasitic habit) [Heckard 1973 Madroño 22:41–70]" [Jepson]

"Orobanche is a large genus (ca. 140 species). Like Striga, Orobanche will not germinate without after-ripening, conditioning and host stimulation. Species of Orobanche are often fleshy, lack leaves and are annual in duration." [Holzner BEW]

"Orobanche spp. are holoparasites attached to the roots of their hosts. Plants representing the genus are found on all continents and in different climates. As weeds they are most frequent in Europe, particularly in the Mediterranean countries, in Africa and in parts of Southern Asia. A great number of dicotyledonous plants from several families are among their host crops." [Hakansson WWM]


Local Species;

  1. Aphyllon fasciculatum - clustered broomrape [E-flora]
  2. Aphyllon pinorum - pine broomrape [E-flora]
  3. Aphyllon uniflorum - naked broomrape [E-flora]
  4. Orobanche californica ssp californica - California broomrape [E-flora]

Non-Local Species in B.C.

  1. Orobanche corymbosa - flat-topped broomrape [E-flora]
  2. Orobanche ludoviciana - Louisiana Broomrape [E-flora]

Aphyllon fasciculatum - clustered broomrape

General: "Parasitic herb from a coarse, tuber-like, fleshy root; stems single or clustered, short glandular-hairy, yellowish to purplish, 3-20 cm tall." [IFBC-E-flora]
Leaves: "Basal leaves lacking; stem leaves scaly-bracteate, alternate, short glandular-hairy." [IFBC-E-flora]
Flowers: "Inflorescence of loose flat-topped, several to many-flowered clusters; corollas yellow to purple-tinged, 1.5-3 cm long, the lips 4-9 mm long, stalked, the leafless stalks 2-15 cm long; calyces 9-11 mm long, the lobes 3-7 mm long, narrow, acute, equaling or slightly shorter than the tubes; anthers smooth or hairy." [IFBC-E-flora]
Fruits: "Capsules; seeds numerous, angled, net-veined, less than 0.7 mm long." [IFBC-E-flora]

"For distinguishing O. fasciculata and O. uniflora, the relative lengths of the calyx lobes and calyx tube are perhaps more reliable than the number of flowers and the relative lengths of the pedicels to the aboveground portion of the stem. In other words, some specimens with more than 5 flowers and a moderately long aboveground stem seem to be closer to O. uniflora than to O. fasciculata. The matter needs study." [Kozloff PWO]

"Clustered broom rape (0. fasciculata) is similar [to O. uniflora] but larger (to 15 cm tall) and with more numerous flowers " (4-10 per plant, vs. 1-3 per plant in naked broomrape). The flower stalks on O. unifiora are much longer than the stem; those of O. fasciculata are not." [PCBC2004]

Status: Native [E-flora]

Habitat/Range: "Parasitic, mainly on Artemisia in dry shrublands in the steppe and lower montane zones; frequent in SC BC; rare northward and eastward; N to YT, E to ON, S to IN, MI, CA and N MX." [IFBC-E-flora] "Clustered broomrape is parasitic on a variety of hosts (often Artemisia spp.) and can be found on open sites at low to middle elevations from Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland south." [PCBC2004]


"Poison Plant poisonous to stock. (as Aphyllonfasciculatum 19:6)" [Moerman NAEth]

Food Use

"Food-Gosiute Unspecified Entire plant sometimes eaten. (as AphylIon fasciculatum 39:361)" [Moerman NAEth]

"Navajo, Ramah Unspecified Roasted in ashes, the skin peeled off and eaten like a baked potato. (191:45)" [Moerman NAEth]

"Paiute, Northern Unspecified Stems eaten raw or boiled. (59:49)" [Moerman NAEth]

Medicinal Use

"Blackfoot Dermatological Aid Chewed root blown onto wounds by medicine men. (as Thalesia fasciculata 114:276)" [Moerman NAEth]

"Keres, Western Pulmonary Aid Roots eaten as a lung medicine. (as Thalesia fasciculata 171:72)" [Moerman NAEth]

"Montana Indian Cancer Treatment Parasite (cancer root) on sweet sage roots used for cancer." [Moerman NAEth]

"Navajo Dermatological Aid Infusion of leaves used as wash for sores. (55:77)" [Moerman NAEth]

"Poultice of plant applied to wounds and open sores. (90:153)" [Moerman NAEth]

"Navajo, Ramah Panacea Plant used as "life medicine." " [Moerman NAEth]

"Pediatric Aid Plant used for birth injuries. (191:45)" [Moerman NAEth]

"Zuni Hemorrhoid Remedy Powdered plant inserted into rectum as a specific for hemorrhoids. (as Thalesia fasciculata 166:61)" [Moerman NAEth]

Synonyms: Orobanche fasciculata Nutt. [E-flora]


  1. [E-flora-1], Accessed 4:45 PM February 20, 2024

Aphyllon pinorum - pine broomrape

Red Listed in B.C. [E-flora]

General: "Parasitic herb from an evidently thickened, somewhat tuberous base, soon tapering and becoming more slender, short glandular-hairy throughout; stems one or several, with more or less numerous, short, slender branches above, 10-30 cm tall." [IFBC-E-flora]
Leaves: "Basal leaves lacking; stem leaves scaly-bracteate, alternate, short glandular-hairy." [IFBC-E-flora]
Flowers: "Inflorescence loose, panicle-like, the flowers short-stalked or unstalked, subtended by a pair of bractlets at the base of the calyces as well as by a bract at the base of the stalk; corolla 13-20 mm long, yellowish marked with purplish-brown, the lips short, with short-pointed lobes; calyces 5-8 mm long, the slender lobes about equalling the tubes, or a little shorter, with leaves; anthers smooth or nearly so." [IFBC-E-flora]
Fruits: "Capsules, 2-locular, 2- or 3-valved, breaking open longitudinally; seeds numerous, small." [IFBC-E-flora]
Notes: "This species was collected from the Koksilah River in 2000 by A. Ceska after a hiatus of 86 years." [IFBC-E-flora]

" Calyx not more than 8 mm long, the lobes not obviously longer than the tube; corolla mostly yellow- ish, with brown markings (Cascades and Siskiyou Mountains; has been found attached to roots of Holodiscus discolor but perhaps also parasitizes other hosts)" [Kozloff WPO]

Status: Native [E-flora]

Habitat/Range: Parasitic on coniferous species; moist to mesic sites in the lowland zone; rare on S Vancouver Island, S to N ID and NW CA.

Synonyms: Orobanche pinorum Geyer ex Hook. [E-flora]

Mycorrhizal Relationships

Holodiscus discolor: "The species is a host for vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae (Berch and others 1988) and Orobanche pinorum Geyer ex Hook. (Harrington and others 1999)." [Francis, 2004]


  1. [E-flora], Accessed 2:31 AM February 21, 2024
  2. [Francis, 2004] Wildland Shrubs of the United States and Its Territories: Thamnic Descriptions: Volume 1, John K. Francis, USDA Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry San Juan, PR Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fort Collins, CO, General Technical Report IITF-GTR-26, July 2004

Aphyllon uniflorum - naked broomrape

Orobanche uniflora - oneflowered broomrape - Flickr - Matt Lavin (2) Orobanche uniflora 3335f
Orobanche uniflora [Matt Lavin] Orobanche uniflora [Walter Siegmund]

General: "Parasitic herb from a coarse, tuber-like, fleshy root; stems single or clustered, usually smooth except finely glandular-hairy above, 5-15 cm tall." [IFBC-E-flora]
Leaves: "Basal leaves lacking; stem leaves scaly-bracteate, alternate, lance shaped, smooth." [IFBC-E-flora]
Flowers: "Inflorescence of single flowers, 1-3 per plant; corollas purplish, sometimes yellowish, 1.5-3.5 cm long, the lips similar to the other lobes, finely fringed, stalked, the leafless stalks 3-12 cm long; calyces 4-12 mm long, the unequal, narrow lobes fringed; anthers smooth or hairy." [IFBC-E-flora]
Fruits: "Capsules; seeds numerous, angled, net-veined, less than 0.7 mm long." [IFBC-E-flora]

"Flowers generally one to three; corolla lobes usually longer than the tube" [Vizgirdas WPSN]


Habitat/Range "Parasitic on Sedum, Saxifragaceae, Asteraceae and others; moist to dry meadows and forest openings in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; common on SE Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands, infrequent eastward in S BC; E to NF and S to FL, TX and CA." [IFBC-E-flora] Moist, open sites or open woods, from low to middle elevations; southern Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland south." [PCBC2004]

"Naked Broom-rape (O. uniflora)—This species mainly occurs between 3,000 and 8,500 feet throughout the Sierra Nevada." [Vizgirdas WPSN] "Naked broom rape is parasitic on stonecrops, saxifrages, species in the sunflower family and other plants." [PCBC2004]

Status: Native [E-flora]

Synonyms: Orobanche uniflora L. [E-flora]


  1. [E-flora], Accessed 2:38 AM February 21, 2024
  2. Matt Lavin - Matt Lavin from Bozeman, Montana, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  3. Walter Siegmund - Walter Siegmund, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Orobanche californica ssp californica - California broomrape

Orobanche californica ssp. californica Orobanchecalifornica
Orobanche californica ssp californica [Eric in SF] Orobanche californica [Chris Wagner]

General: "Parasitic herb from a coarse, tuber-like, fleshy root; stems branched, short glandular-hairy, dark purple, 5-35 cm tall." [IFBC-E-flora]
Leaves: "Basal leaves lacking; stem leaves scaly-bracteate, alternate, short glandular-hairy." [IFBC-E-flora]
Flowers: "Inflorescence of 20 or more flowers in round-topped clusters; corollas purple, 2.2-4.5 cm long, the lips 10-14 mm long and spreading, stalked, the stalks 0-4 cm long, with leaves; calyces 10-20 mm long, lobes longer than the tubes; anthers woolly-hairy." [IFBC-E-flora]
Fruits: "Capsules; seeds numerous, angled, net-veined, less than 0.7 mm long." [IFBC-E-flora]

"Orobanche californica is extremely variable. In some floras it is subdivided into several subspecies, at least 2 of which occur in our region. The distinctions between them are fuzzy, however. Plants parasitizing species of Grindelia at low elevations from Brit. Col. to Calif. have been called subsp. californica; those parasitizing various species of Aster and Erigeron, especially above 3000 ft. (910 m), have been called subsp. grayana." [Kozloff PWO]

Habitat/Range: "Parasitic on Grindelia integrifolia and Ambrosia chamissonis on sandy beaches in the lowland zone; locally frequent on S Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, rare on adjacent mainland; S to CO and CA." [E-flora]

Medicinal Use

"Drug-Paiute Cold Remedy Decoction of plant taken for colds. Pulmonary Aid Decoction of plant taken for pneumonia or pulmonary trouble. (180:108)" [Moerman NAEth]


  1. [E-flora], Accessed 2:38 AM February 21, 2024
  2. Chris Wagner - Chris Wagner, US Forest Service, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
  3. Eric in SF - Eric in SF, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons; Photographed along the Chimney Rock Trail, Pt. Reyes National Seashore, Marin County, California.

Mentioned Species: (Boschniakia and Orobanche species) Boschniakia rossica, B. Hookeri, B. strobilacea, Orobanche uniflora, O. grayana, O. pinorum, O. fasciculata. [Schofield]


"Broomrape, like cow parsnip roots, are reputed to be a tasty wild food. But so far, it's been a failure in my field taste trials." [Schofield]

Whole Plant  

"Though the whole plant is said to be edible, the underground portion is what is most commonly eaten..." [Schofield]

Medicinal Use

Whole Herb  

"Spring and fall. . If you collect any underground portions, be certain to gather from those farthest from the host plant so that you don't disrupt broomrape's source of nourishment. Since broomrape spoils easily, collected plants should be well dried to preserve for medicinal use." [Schofield]


"I use Boschniakia as an ingredient in tonic drinks (with dandelion root and nettle), and in stress-relieving teas like Quiet Times. Plants of the Orobanche genus can also be substituted. Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West recommends boiling a teaspoon of the rootstalk in a cup of water and drinking this when you need a laxative or sedative, or a tonic drink for restoring strength after a long illness or mild stroke. Moore says an average dose is a "... scant to rounded teaspoon boiled in water, one to two cups a day." [Schofield]


"Jeanne Rose's The Herbal Body Book reports that broomrape juice (obtained from an Orobanche species) has been used for removing freckles and skin blemishes." [Schofield]

"The flowering stalk of Boschniakia can be added to facial steams for oily skin." [Schofield]


"Various members of the broomrape family have been used in China as aphrodisiacs. According to folklore, the phallic plants sprang up from the semen dropped by dragons and wild stallions. Broomrape is still prescribed in China for male impotence and female infertility, as well as for menopausal hot flashes." [Schofield]

Orobanche fasciculata Nutt., Clustered Broomrape
Drug-Blackfoot Dermatological Aid Chewed root blown onto wounds by medicine men. (as Thalesia fasciculata 114:276) Keres, Western Pulmonary Aid Roots eaten as a lung medicine. (as Thalesia fasciculata 171:72) Montana Indian Cancer Treatment Parasite (can- cer root) on sweet sage roots used for cancer. Poison Plant poisonous to stock. (as Aphyllonfasciculatum 19:6) Navajo DermatologicalAid Infusion of leaves used as wash for sores. (55:77) Poultice of plant applied to wounds and open sores. (90:153) Navajo, Ramah Panacea Plant used as "life medicine." Pediatric Aid Plant used for birth in- juries. (191:45) Zuni Hemorrhoid Remedy Powdered plant inserted into rectum as a specific for hemorrhoids. (as Thalesia fasciculata 166:61)
Food-Gosiute Unspecified Entire plant sometimes eaten. (as Aphyl- Ion fasciculatum 39:361) Navajo, Ramah Unspecified Roasted in ash- es, the skin peeled off and eaten like a baked potato. (191:45) Paiute, Northern Unspecified Stems eaten raw or boiled. (59:49) [NAEth Moerman]

Use of Orobanche Sp.


Uptake of host toxins

Food Use

Other Uses

Medicinal Use

Oroanche and Conopholis (Broomrape) WHOLE PLANT. Standard Infusion 2-4 ounces; applied topically as needed. STATUS : W/LA [Moore(1995)]

Europeans may have already known about medical uses of these plants when they arrived in the New World because a book on medicine published in 1671 said, “Broomrape…easeth pains in the Reins [kidneys].” Alternately, they may have learned uses from indigenous Americans.
Moerman (1998) found four or five species used for food and medicine among the Akimel O’odham (Pima), Blackfoot, Cahuilla, Gosiute, Keres, Montana, Navajo, Paiute, and Zuni. Among the medicinal uses were to treat wounds and sores, hemorrhoids, pneumonia and other lung troubles, cancer, and birth injuries.
Porcher (1863) wrote that O. uniflora was “used as a remedy in carcinomatous affections, ulcers.” He also indicated, “Dr. [Benjamin Smith] Barton [1810] thought [both O. uniflora and Epifagus were] ingredients of a secret remedy for cancer, known as ‘Martin’s Cancer Powder.’”
Saadoun and Hameed (1999) found an antibacterial activity in the extract from O. cernua. That plant was effective against Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus, Bacillus cereus, and Escherichia coll. They wrote, “the O. cernua extract displays remarkable activity against some Gram-positive bacteria such as Streptococcus and Staphylococcus.” [Daniel F Austin]

"Orobanche fasciculata Nutt. Aphyllon fasciculatum (Nutt.) A. Gray. Thalesia fasciculata (Nutt.) Britt. Cancer Root, Broom Rape. Leetoo- l'eezih (earth footprints). It is so called from its vague resemblance to a moccasined foot partly sunk in the ground (24 :196). A liniment made of the leaves and branchlets of this plant is employed in curing sores (24:113)." [Elmore EON]

"Orobanche ludoviciana Nutl., Louisiana Broomrape Drug-Blackfoot Dermatological Aid Plant chewed by medicine men and blown upon wounds. (97:53) Pima Dermatological Aid Poultice of stems applied to ulcerated sores. (47:49)" [Moerman NAEth]

"Orobanche ludoviciana Nutl. ssp. ludoviciana, Sand Broom- rape · Drug-Navajo, Kayenta Dermatological Aid Powdered plant applied to gunshot wounds. (as O. multiflora var. arenosa 205:43)" [Moerman NAEth]

"Orobanche vulgaris: The species is used as astringent, to treat freckles, cancer, fever, and spleen disorders (Shi et al. 2020)." [Kunwar EH]

"Orobanche alba is used for digestive disorders, as anthelmintic, and for joint inflammations (Ghorbani 2005)." [Kunwar EH]

Orobanche solmsii Cl. ex Hook.f. - Root - Used for Treatment of dog bite (Rawat (2005)) [Pullaiah EOI]

Orobanche hansii Ker. - Plant - Kidney function, check hemorrhage (Ballabh and Chaurasia, 2006) [Pullaiah EOI]

"Broomrape Herb It is the whole herb of Orobanche caerulescens Steph. or Orobanche pycnostachya Hance (Orobanchaceae). Effect. Nourishing the kidney and rein- forcing the muscles and tendons. Indication. Chills and pain in the waist and knees, impotence and seminal emission, etc." [Xinrong TCM]


Antifungal: Orobanche crenata; "The results obtained from both in vitro and in vivo trials indi- cated that the extracts had a variable degree of antifungal activity in relation to the different tested fungi. S. minor extract showed the highest antifungal activity, followed by O. crenata extract. To the best of our knowledge this is the first report on the activity of phenolic extracts from these wild edible herbs against posthar- vest fungal diseases of fruit and vegetables." [M.A. Gatto et al.]


"Orobanche lutea BAUMG. (OROBANCHACEAE) A small amount of a new alkaloid, orobanhamine, C20H31O14N (m.p. 193-194o, [a]D +33.92), was isolated. It has no active hydrogen (42)." [ACP.7]

"3'''-O-Methylcrenatoside - 3'-Methyl crenatoside; 1,2-O-[2S-(3,4-Dihydroxyphenyl)-1,2-ethanediyl]- 3-O-alpha-L-rhamnopyranosyl-4-O-feruloyl-Beta-D-glucopyranoside C30H36O15 (636.61). White amorphous powder, mp 224~226ºC, [a]D20 = í53.2º (c = 0.37, MeOH); [a]D26 = í23º (c = 0.44, MeOH). Pharm: Antioxidant (relative potency = 1.4, compared with resveratrol, relative potency = 1)[4920]; antiviral inactive (Vero cell lines infected with HSV-2 strain 333, 250ȝg/mL)[4752]; ACE inhibitor (1.0mg/mL, InRt = 99.8%; 0.1mg/mL, InRt = 67.5%; 0.01mg/mL, InRt = 32.5%; control Captopril, 0.01mg/mL, InRt = 97.7%)[4752]. Source: LIE DANG Orobanche coerulescens (whole herb), NAN CHUAN GUAN CHUN HUA Microtoena prainiana (stem: yield = 0.0014%dw)." [Ency TCM V.3]

"Caerulescenoside - C35H46O20 (786.74) Amorphous powder, [a]D26=-98o(c=0.49,MeOH) Pharm: Antioxidant (relative potency = 4.4, compared with resveratrol, relative potency = 1). Source: LIE DANG Orobanche coerulescens (whole herb)." [Ency TCM V.1]

"Crenatoside - Oraposide; Orobanchoside [61276-16-2] C29H34O15 (622.59). Amorphous powder, [a]D26 = 23o (c = 0.44, MeOH). Pharm: Antiviral inactive (Vero cell lines infected with HSV-2 strain 333, 250 ug/mL)[4752]; ACE inhibitor (1.0mg/mL, InRt = 99.7%; 0.1mg/mL, InRt = 75.5%; 0.01mg/mL, InRt = 34.6%; control Captopril, 0.01mg/mL, InRt = 97.7%)[4752]; antioxidant (relative potency = 1.4, compared with Resveratrol, relative potency = 1)[4920]. Source: GUAN HUA ROU CONG RONG Cistanche tubulosa, LIE DANG Orobanche coerulescens (whole herb), NAN CHUAN GUAN CHUN HUA Microtoena prainiana (stem: yield = 0.0036%dw)." [Ency TCM V.1]

"Ornithine - 2,5-Diaminopentanoic acid C5H12N2O2 (132.16). mp L(+) 140oC. Source: LIE DANG Orobanche coerulescens." [Ency TCM V.4]

Orobanone - "1(5),6,9-Guaiatrien-8-one ; C15H200 M 216.322 Constit. of Orobanche rapu-genistae. Oil. Fruchier, A. et a/, Phytochemistry, 1981, 20, 777." [Connolly DT]

"Verbascoside (1) was first isolated from Orobanche rapum-genistae in 1924 and named orobanchin (Bridel and Charaux 1924). In this work, the component monosaccharides, glucose and rhamnose, and caffeic acid were shown to account for most ofthe structure." [Bajaj MAPS 8]

"Strigolactones had been known since the 1970s as root-released compounds able to trigger germination of parasitic plant seeds. Parasitic plants of the genera Striga and Orobanche are, like AM fungi, obligate biotrophs. They produce high numbers of tiny seeds, practically devoid of reserves, that germinate only in the close vicinity of host (or false host) plant roots. The considerable damage caused to crops by these parasites in many regions of the world led researchers to identify the germination stimulants produced by host plants. Cook et al. (1966, 1972) completed the daunting task of characterizing the major germination stimulants produced by cotton, strigol and strigyl acetate (Fig. 1). These molecules comprise four carbon rings, two of which (C and D) carry a lactone function. The D ring is linked to the ABC moiety via an enol ether bond. The collective name strigolactones was given to compounds sharing the same overall structure (Butler 1995)." [Koltai AMPF]

Orobanche cernua Loefl. "The plant contains phytic acid (Beg et al., 1968)" [Middleditch KP]

Alkaloid Uptake

"The root holoparasite Orobanche rapum-genistae on Sarothamnus scoparius was found (Wink et al., 1981) to contain a much lower total quinolizidine alkaloid content than the S. coparius aboveground parts, but several times more alkaloid than the roots. 13- Hydroxylupanine was the major alkaloid (43% of the total) of the S. coparius roots, but represented only 4% of the total in the O. rapum-genistae bulbs. The latter, however, contained considerably more sparteine (1) than the host roots (74 versus 27%, respec- tively) and, in addition, had 8% dehydrosparteine, an alkaloid missing from the host." [Roberts Alk]

"In the same way as described for the PAs (see section V.B), it has been shown that parasitic species of the family Scrophulariaceae acquire QAs from their host plants via root parasitism. Thus, Orobanche rapum-geni- stae obtained the complete QA pattern from its host, Sarothamnus scoparius (Wink et al., 1981), Castilleja species from lupines (Stermitz and Harris, 1987; Arslanian et al., 1990), and Pedicularis semibarbata from Lupinus fulcratus (Stermitz etal, 1989). Again it can be assumed that the root-to-parasite transfer of QAs occurs via phloem connections." [Rosenthal HerbV1]

Sparteine - Quinolizidine - Cytisus scoparius - Orobanche rapum-genistae [Xinrong TCM]

Cultivation & Propagation

"The life history of Orobanche species is similar in many respects to that of Striga. The seeds (Fig. 8) are tiny and dustlike and require conditioning and stimulation. In general, there is more spontaneous germination in Orobanche species. Like Striga, the seedling stage of Orobanche is subterranean and the seedlings lack chlorophyll. This stage (Fig. 9) is often referred to as the tubercle stage. Considerable damage c;.an accrue to the host at this stage. Lacking chlorophyll, Orobanche species obviously derive all their nourishment from their hosts. Movement of photosynthates from the host into the parasite is relatively slow in the case of O. crenata on broadbeans where less than I % had been translocated after three days (Whitney, 1973). As is characteristic of parasitic angiosperms as a whole, there was a lower disaccharide concentration and higher monosaccharide concentration in the parasite than in the host. This results in the host root having only 2/3 of the osmotic pressure of the parasite (Whitney op. cit.) It is suggested that the overall effect is to interfere with the host roots ability to obtain water. This in turn results in a general debilitation of the host, especially under conditions of water stress. One consequence of this is lowered fruit production." [Holzner BEW]

"In the Terai, Orobanche and Striga species were generally known as variations of the Nepali word jhar, meaning ‘grass’ or ‘grass-like weedy plant’. This lack of differentiation mirrors these plants’ limited IBK, including the species we surveyed: Orobanche aegyptiaca (Fig. 4), Striga gesneroides, and S. asiatica. Orobanche spp. in some areas of the central Terai are known as Thokara or Thoka, meaning swollen rhizome. This again describes these plants’ parasitic organ know as haustoria, and, inherently, its growth habit. In other regions, Orobanche spp. are referred to as Bandaar Phul, or monkey flower, due to its projectile fruit and dispersion method." [O-neill&Rana,2016]

"In particular, Orobanche and Striga spp. were widely recognized as invasive weeds infecting many crop systems, including cabbage, maize, millet, potato, and sugarcane plots (Fig. 4). Qualitatively, their populations were reported to have increased in recent decades, with more frequent and widespread ranges today than in previous decades." [O-neill&Rana,2016]

Few practical and economically sound methods are available for controlling parasitic plant species (Gressel et al., 2004; Rispail et al., 2007), in part because their physiological connection to host plants limits the usefulness of most herbicides. Parasitic weeds can also be difficult to eradicate because they often produce large numbers of long-lived seeds. For example, a single Orobanche sp. plant can produce over 200,000 dust-like seeds that remain viable for 8–10 years (Parker and Riches, 1993). In addition, parasitic plants that attack host roots can inflict serious damage to crop plants before the latter emerge from the soil, making it difficult to diagnose infestations before economic losses occur. [Lichtfouse OF]

Orobanche spp. (Figs. 1 and 3) are obligate root holoparasites that constrain the production of many crops, primarily in the Mediterranean region, the Middle East, and northern Africa (Parker and Riches, 1993). Among the six Orobanche species considered serious pests, O. ramosa and O. aegyptiaca have the widest host ranges and heavily damage a variety of crops, including tomato, potato, eggplant, faba bean, lentil, peanut, chickpea, cucumber, cabbage, and sunflower (Parker and Riches, 1993). Orobanche cumana has a host range limited to Asteraceae, and it is an important pest of cultivated sunflowers (Parker and Riches, 1993; Press and Graves, 1995). Infestation by Orobanche spp. can result in total crop loss (Bernhard et al., 1998). [Lichtfouse OF]

Orobanche and Phelipanche spp. are holoparasites lacking chlorophylls and depend entirely on their hosts for the supply of water and nutrients. [Ramawat NP]

"Orobanche cumana has a host range limited to Asteraceae, and it is an important pest of cultivated sunflowers (Parker and Riches, 1993; Press and Graves, 1995)." [Runyon,2009]

"Inducing the germination of Striga and Orobanche spp. seeds in the absence of a suitable host plant results in “suicidal germination,” and subsequent reduction in numbers of parasitic-plant seeds in soil. Both man-made and natural compounds have been investigated for their ability to induce germination. Analogs of strigol have been synthesized (e.g., GR 24 and Nijmegen 1) and are potent elicitors of germination in both Striga and Orobanche spp. (Wigchert et al., 1999); however, their instability in soil (Barbiker et al., 1987), and the high cost of producing large quantities of these compounds, have so far prohibited their use in agriculture (Humphrey et al., 2006)." [Runyon,2009]

"The role of microorganisms (e.g. Streptomyces) has been also implicated in Orobanche seed germination. Christeva and Naumova (1998) reported different strains of Streptomyces to induce germination of O. ramosa and concluded that microorganisms may take part in germination processes of this parasite. In another study, Yoneyama et al. (1998) reported stimulation of O. minor seed germination by certain fungal metabolites including cotylenins and fusicoccins at concentrations as low as 10-5 M and up to more than 50%." [Reigosa Allelopathy]

"The broomrapes include about 14 genera, all holo-parasites lacking chlorophyll, of which 5 are serious parasites of crops. Orobancha ramosa, O. aegyptiaca and O. crenata are important crop pests around the Mediterranean. Their effects are not generally as devastating on crop yields as Striga [another parasitic weed called 'witchweed] but a wide range of dicotyledonous crops is affected including rape, mustard, chickpea, faba bean, aubergine, carrot, tobacco and tomato.
"There are many similarities in the development of the host–Orobanche relationship with that of the host–Striga relationship. Germination of Orobanche requires a moist, conditioning period and follows response to the reception of a chemical stimulant from host roots (Yokota et al., 1998; Sato et al., 2003). After germination, the procaulome of the Orobanche attaches itself to the surface of the host root, and the tip forms a haustorium, which pentrates the host root, eventually establishing connections with the vascular system of the host. The young parasite then develops a tubercle with adventitious roots, and a non-photosynthesizing shoot (Fig. 6.15). Unlike Striga, the adventitious roots do not form secondary attachments to the host but they may take up some nutrients (Parker and Riches, 1993)." [Gregory PR]

Weed Plant

"The most serious of these plants [parasitic weeds] are undoubtedly Striga and Orobanche which together must affect the daily lives of millions of subsistence farmers expecially in the semi-arid tropics." [Holzner BEW]

"The following are of great importance as weeds: O. rampsa, O. aegyptiaca, O. crenata, O. cernua, and O. minor. Perhaps the most serious of these is O. ramosa (Fig. 6) which causes greatest loss in the eastern Mediterranean region where it parasitizes tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum), potato (Solanum tuberosum), tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) and some other crops. In addition, it has been widely spread causing losses to tobacco in Cuba, tomatoes in California and was at one time a serious problem on hemp (Cannabis sativa) in parts of the United States (in Musselman, 1980). Recently, O. ramosa has been found on tomatoes in Ethiopia and is also known from Mali in West Africa. Closely related to O. ramosa is O. aegyptiaca although the latter is generally more robust with larger flowers that are heavily scented. These and other features suggest that O. aegyptiaca may be an outcrosser under field conditions. The host range of these two species is likewise similar although O. aegyptiaca is known to be a serious problem on watermelon (Citrullus vulgaris) in Central Asia. Orobanche crenata (Fig. 7) is the tallest of the species we are considering and has attractive bluish-white, fragrant flowers. A dense infestation of this species IS a spectacular sight. Hosts are usually legumes especially broad bean (Vida faba) , lentil (Lens culinaris), garden pea (Pisum sativum), but also other non-legume crops such as carrot. Orobanche cernua causes extensive losses in both yield and oil quality in sunflower (Helianthus annuus) especially in the Soviet Union where this species is the subject of considerable research. Lastly, O. minor is a taxonomically complex group of variants found throughout the world. Such variability may be associated with its autogamy and influenced somewhat by the particular host. It has been noted (L. Musselman and C. Parker, unpublished), for example, that strains of this parasite from certain hosts were diminutive when grown on other hosts. In Europe, it is usually found on various clovers although we should not be surprised to find that it will grow on many different host plants from diverse families. Orobanche minor has been reported as a sporadic introduction into the United States. In New Zealand, where this species was first discovered as an introduction in 1868 (as O. picridis) it remained benign for a century before becoming a pest in tobacco and forage crops. The cause for this increased parasitic vigor is not known but could be explained by the tobacco strain being a more recent introduction." [Holzner BEW]

"Parasitic weeds can also be difficult to eradicate because they often produce large numbers of long-lived seeds. For example, a single Orobanche sp. plant can produce over 200,000 dust-like seeds that remain viable for 8–10 years (Parker and Riches, 1993). In addition, parasitic plants that attack host roots can inflict serious damage to crop plants before the latter emerge from the soil, making it difficult to diagnose infestations before economic losses occur." [Runyon,2009]

"Orobanche spp.... are obligate root holoparasites that constrain the production of many crops, primarily in the Mediterranean region, the Middle East, and northern Africa (Parker and Riches, 1993). Among the six Orobanche species considered serious pests, O. ramosa and O. aegyptiaca have the widest host ranges and heavily damage a variety of crops, including tomato, potato, eggplant, faba bean, lentil, peanut, chickpea, cucumber, cabbage, and sunflower (Parker and Riches, 1993)." [Runyon,2009]

"Infestation by Orobanche spp. can result in total crop loss (Bernhard et al., 1998)." [Runyon,2009]

"More recently, Amsellem et al. (2001) have found that two strains of Fusarium sp., F. arthrosporioides E4a and F. oxysporum E1d, are specific to Egyptian, nodding/drooping (O. cernua Loefl.) and branched broomrape and could be used effectively as mycoherbicide for seed or transplant or soil-drench treatment of tomato and other vegetable crops in order to protect them from broomrape. Tomato plant roots dipped in spore suspension of these strains and planted in broomrape-infested soil were protected for 6 weeks, and nearly 90% control of broomrape could be achieved by drenching transplant soil with these strains (Amsellem et al., 2001)." [singh2003]

"In entomogamous species, stabilizing selection by both pollinators and seed predators should maintain a low variance in timing of flowering (Augspurger, 1981) and thus hamper a rapid selection for other flowering periods. Changes in flowering date may occur if other pollinators can substitute for the conventional ones, and if seed predation is reduced by hyperparasites of the seed predators, as found in the Orobanche ramosa - Phytomyza orobanchia - Crataepiella carlinarum system (Mihajlovic, 1986)." [Werger DG]

"Broomrapes (Orobanche spp.) are the most important parasitic seed plants that cause disease in tobacco [92]. Plants attacked early in the season are stunted, while quality is reduced in plants attacked late in the season [92]. Effective management of broomrape is very difficult and relies on hand weeding and selective herbicides [92]." [Gnanamanickam BCCD]

"Egyptian broomrape (Orobanche aegyptiaca L. Pers.) and bean broomrape (O. crenata Forsk) were effectively controlled in carrot and eggplant and tomato crop, respectively, following a solarization treatment (Jacobsohn et al. 1980; Abdel-Rahim et al. 1988), though the best control of the above Orobanche species by solarization was found in hot seasons (Sauerborn et al. 1989)." [Lichtfouse SAR 3]

"Tomato plants bearing a mutation in a gene involved in strigolactone biosynthesis (SlORT1) are both resistant to the parasitic weed Orobanche and reluctant to AM colonization (Koltai et al. 2010)." [Perotto SCPS] "....AM colonization in pea and tomato induced less germination of seeds of Orobanche and Phelipanche species compared to non-colonized plants (Ferna´ndez-Aparicio et al. 2010; Lo´pez-Ra´ez et al. 2011a)." [SoilBio-37]

"It has been shown that Orobanche ramosa can parasitize plants from 11 different dicot families, in fact, more different hosts than any other broomrape. Major agronomically. important hosts include solanaceous crops, cabbage, cauliflower, hemp, carrots, lettuce, and some legumes. The related species O. aegyptiaca causes especially severe damage to melons in Central Asia, where broomrape not only reduces the yield and weakens the melons, but also induces the production of a toxin within the melons that renders them unmarketable." [Pessarakli HPCS]

"In some cases, farmers have to abandon their fields. During the period 1968–1978, the faba bean production area in Egypt dropped down by 29% because of heavy infestation with O. crenata. In Yogoslavia, the production area for sunflowers decreased by 37% in the 1950s.(Nickrent and Musselman, 2004). The parasite could be not forced back until resistant varieties were grown." [Pessarakli HPCS]

"Broomrape (Orobanche crenata) may be a serious problem in the Middle East. Eptam, applied as a postemergence spray, was fairly effective, as was soil fumigation with dibromochloropropane, and oxak (terbutol), if deeply incorporated into the soil before sowing." [MPB-Duke]

Biocontrol of Orobanche Sp.

"In two cases devoted to biocontrol of a weed, there was a modicum of success. Fusarium spp. transformed with two genes of the indole-3-acetamide pathway leading from tryptophan to IAA produced significantly more IAA than the wild type and were more effective in suppressing the number and size of Orobanche shoots than the wild type (Cohen et al. 2002). The same genes greatly enhanced the activity of a Colletotrichum coccodes attacking Abutilon, but only when augmented with tryptophan (Amsellem and Gressel, unpublished results 2002). This demonstrates that having an enzyme may not be sufficient, if substrate for the enzymes is lacking." [Arora HFB]

"A major problem in the engineering of mycoherbicides for toxin production may well be in obtaining expression. Some of the most potent toxin producing fungi, produce their toxins only when cultured on media, but not when they are pathogenic. We found that culture filtrates of strains of Fusarium oxysporum were toxic to tomato, yet the fungi grow on the tomato rhizoplane, specifically attacking Orobanche spp. (broomrapes) before and after they parasitize the tomato (Cohen et al. 2002)." [Arora HFB]

"Aphis orobanches Passerini Apt. dark green; BL unknown. On root and at base of stem of Orobanche spp. in Italy. Described from O. ramosa near Bologna, and recorded on O. mutelii in Calabria by Macchiati (1883). Wilson and Vickery (1918) also list records from O. lutea and Lathraea squamaria (Scrophulariaceae), but the species is regarded as a nomen dubium." [Blackman AWHPS]

"Fusarium oxysporum, isolated from naturally infected Orobanche in Iran, reduced broomrape by 75% and increased dry weight of tobacco by 81% in a field trial [93]. The fungus was not pathogenic on tobacco. Similarly in greenhouse studies in Germany, F. oxysporum f. sp. orthoceras was highly pathogenic on Orobanche from tobacco [94]. Studies on Fusarium lateritium indicate that it also has good potential as a mycoparasite of Orobanche spp. on tobacco. In a field study in Bulgaria, protection of tobacco by F. lateritium against broomrape ranged from 62 to 68% [95]. Application of the fungus in irrigation water at the time of transplant provided long-lasting protection [95]." [Gnanamanickam BCCD]

"Khalaf et al. (1997) studied Orobanche crenata control using Azotobacter spp. and Escherichia coli transformants to break parasite seed dormancy." [Reigosa Alleleopathy]

"Although the most recent developments in inundative control have used fungi and nematodes, there is one case where an insect species has been used successfully. This is for the control of broomrape (Orobanche spp.), a parasitic weed of truck crops, in eastern Europe and southern USSR, which uses the native shoot-mining agromyzid fly Phytomyza orobanchia. After studies in Yugoslavia had shown that the miner could damage shoot tips sufficiently to destroy 90% of the seed capsules (Lekic 1971), the Russians have reared and sown puparia of the fly amongst Orobanche-infested field crops in several areas of southern USSR with marked reduction in shoot growth and in seeding of this parasitic plant (W.R.O. 1970). Apparently this programme is continuing and control of Orobanche is being maintained in this inundative manner (Kovalev 1977; Lebedev, pers. comm., 1978)." [Holzner BEW]

"There is no general herbicide that has proven generally effective against Orobanche although Schmitt (1980) reports good control of O. crenata with glyphosate. They recommend two applications of the herbicide at 60 a.i. in 500 I water/ha, the first at the tubercle stage the second two weeks later. Such treatment raised yield in broadbeans by 500 to 800 kg/ha. Other herbicides include trifluralin (in Musselman, 1980) and there have been attempts to translocate 2,4-D from host to parasite e.g. , Whitney (1973). This approach did not prove feasible, however, due to the low tolerance of the host (broad bean) to the herbicide. Soil fumigation , especially with methyl bromide, provides excellent control but is expensive for large scale infestations. Considerable attention has been paid to breeding for resistance but with equivocal results. In the Soviet Union strains of sunflower were developed that had resistance but due to a change in the physiology of the parasite, O. cernua, this resistance was overcome. The mode of change in the parasite is inexplicable but is no doubt due to a mutation as this is a strongly autogamous species. New strains were developed but after a few decades these too were susceptible. There is now a concerted effort to breed Orobanche resistant strains of broad beans, lentil and other legumes for use in dry areas where Orobanche may be a significant factor in yield reduction." [Holzner BEW]

"Annual legumes with known pharmaceutical properties and prominent biochemical potential, such as fenugreek (Trigonella phoenum-graecum L.), effectively reduce the infection of broomrape (Orobanche crenata Forssk.) in faba bean (Evidente et al. 2007; Fernández-Aparicio et al. 2011)." [Lichtfouse SAR 11]

"In resistant lines of sunflowers (Helianthus annuus), 7-hydroxylated coumarins, e.g., scopoletin and its glycoside scopolin, play a defensive role against the parasitic plant Orobanche cernua by inhibiting germination of the seeds of the parasite and their attachment to the host (Serghini et al. 2001). Either root tissue penetration of the host, connection to the vascular system, or tubercule development are prevented." [Reigosa Alleleopathy]

Trap Crops

"The success of trap crops in exhausting soil seed bank of the parasite may be highly questionable under severe infestation or may requires a fairly long period for effective control which may not be economically feasible under certain growing systems. However, in a short term cropping system it may increase crop yield as found by Zemrag and Bajja (2001) who reported that fenugreek and coriander decreased the number of attached parasites per host plant and disturbed their development. They showed that these trap crops increased broad bean yield by 18.37 and 14.82%, respectively. In general, the use of trap crops may effectively reduce Orobanche seed bank, but to a certain extent these crops could be used as a part of integrated Orobanche control approach. Crop rotation alone will not solve the problem but it can contribute to reduce the infestation level to a degree that renders control methods like hand pulling. However, good results with effective trap crops may not be efficient, possibly not practicable for ecological/economical reasons. Development of the parasite on weeds needs to be eliminated, while important trap crops to reduce the seed bank for different parasitic weeds are not available." [Reigosa Allelopathy]

"Different studies showed that root diffusate of Linum usitatissimum, Capsicum annuum, Sesamum indicum and Trifolium alexandrinum all enhanced Orobanche seed germination, but the germinated seeds normally failed to attach to the root systems of these crops (AbuShakra et al. 1970; Krishnamurthy et al. 1977; Musselman, 1980; Al-Menoufi, 1991)." [Reigosa Allelopathy]

"Strong induced germination of O. cernua seeds was obtained using trap crops especially Vigna radiata and Crotalaria juncea (Dhanapal et al. 1998)." [Reigosa Allelopathy]

"Recently, Acharya et al. (2002) have observed that toria (Brassica campestris var. toria) planted as catch crop at the density of 140 plants/m2 significantly reduces seed bank of Egyptian broomrape (Orobanche aegyptiaca Pers.) by over 20% compared with fallow fields. Even the allelochemicals have been seen to stimulate the seed germination of parasitic weeds much before the host seed germination, thereby reducing their seed banks in soil. Some of the specific studies regarding the control of Striga and Orobanche are discussed below." [singh2003]

Trap crops of O. aegyptiaca; [Reigosa Allelopathy]
Allium sativum - Garlic,
Arabidopsis thaliana - Thale cress,
Capsicum annuum - Sweet pepper,
Carum ajowan - Caraway,
Glycine max - Soybean,
Lablab purpureus - Hyacinth bean,
Lathyrus ochrus - Ochrus vetch,
Linum usitatissimum - Linseed,
Medicago sativa - Alfalfa,
Phaseolus vulgaris - French bean,
Pisum sativum - Pea,
Ricinus communis - Castor bean,
Sesamum indicum - Sesame,
Vigna radiata - Green gram,
Vigna unguiculata spp. unguiculata - Cowpea

Trap crops of O. cernua; [Reigosa Allelopathy]
Amaranthus spp. - Pigweeds,
Bidens pilosa - Spanish needle,
Cajanus cajan - Pigeon pea,
Capsicum annuum - Sweet chillies,
Cicer arientinum - Chickpeas,
Cichorium intybus - Chicory,
Colocasia sp. - Elephant s-ear,
Crotalaria juncea - Sunhemp,
Curcuma domestica - Turmeric,
Glycine max - Soybean,
Gossypium spp. - Cotton,
Guizotia abyssinica - Nugcoat buttons,
Hibiscus sabdariffa - Hibiscus,
Illacrotvloma uniflorum - Horsegram,
Linum usitatissimum - Linseed,
Medicago sativa - Alfalfa,
Pennisetum typhoides - Millet,
Phaseolus aureus - Green gram,
Ricinus communis - Castor bean,
Sesamum indicum - Sesame,
Setaria indica - Foxtail millet,
Sinapis alba - Wild mustard,
Solanum melongena - Eggplant,
Sorghum sp. - Sorghum,
Tridax procumbens - Buttons,
Vigna mungo - Black gram,
Vigna radiatia - Green gram,
Cannabis sativa - Hemp,
Vigna radiata - Mung bean,
Medicago sativa - Lucerne,
Vigna acontifolia - Moth bean,
Vigna unguiculata - Cowpea,
Vicia dasycarpa spp. villosa - Vetch
[Reigosa Allelopathy]

Trap crops of Orobanche cumana; [Reigosa Allelopathy]
Bidens pilosa - Spanish needle,
Capsicum annuum - Sweet chillies,
Cichorium intybus - Chirory,
Crotalaria juncea - Sunhemp,
Gossypium spp. - Cotton,
Guizotia abyssinica - Nugcoat,
Illacrotvloma uniflorum - Horsegram,
Linum usitatissimum - Linseed,
Medicago sativa - Alfalfa,
Ricinus communis - Castor bean,
Tridax procumbens - Buttons,
Vigna acontifolia - Moth bean,
Vigna mungo - Black gram,
Vigna radiatia - Green gram
[Reigosa Allelopathy]

Trap crops of Orobanche crenata; [Reigosa Allelopathy]
Allium sativum - Garlic,
Astragalus boeticus - Vetch,
Brassica rapa - Turnip,
Capsicum annuum - Pepper,
Coriandrum sativum - Coriander,
Glycine max - Soybean,
Hedysarum coronarium - Sulla,
Helianthus annuus - Sunflower,
Hordeum vulgare - Barley,
Lablab purpureus - Hyacinth bean,
Lathyrus ochrus - Ochrusvetch,
Linum usitatissimum - Linseed,
Lupinus termis - Lupine,
Phaseolus vulgaris - French bean,
Pisum sativum - Pea,
Saccharum officinarum - Sugarcane,
Sesamum indicum - Sesame,
Trifolium alexandrinum - Berseem,
Trigonella foenum-graecum - Fenugreek,
Vicia dasycarpa spp. villosa - Vetch,
Vicia narbonensis Narbonne - vetch,
Vigna radiata - Green gram,
Vigna unguiculata - Cowpea
[Reigosa Allelopathy]

Trap crops of Orobanche minor; [Reigosa Allelopathy]
Allium sativum - Garlic,
Arabidopsis thaliana - Thale cress,
Linum usitatissimum - Linseed,
Pisum sativum - Pea Hassan,
Sorghum bicolor - Sorghum,
Zea mays - Corn
[Reigosa Allelopathy]

Trap crops of Orobanche ramosa; [Reigosa Allelopathy]
Allium sativum - Garlic,
Arabidopsis thaliana - Thale cress,
Brassica sp. - Mustard,
Brassica napus - Rape,
Brassica rapa - Turnip,
Capsicum spp. - Capsicums,
Carum ajowan - Caraway,
Coriandrum sativum - Coriander,
Cucumis sativus - Cucumber,
Glycine max - Soybean,
Lablab purpureus - Hyacinth bean,
Lathyrus ochrus - Ochrus vetch,
Linum usitatissimum - Linseed,
Lupinus termis - Lupine,
Mediacago sativa - Lucerne,
Pennisetum sp. - Fountain,
Phaseolus vulgaris - French bean,
Pisum sativum - Pea,
Ricinus communis - Castor bean,
Sesamum indicum - Sesame,
Setaria sp. - Millets,
Sorghum bicolor - Sorghum,
Trifolium sp. - Clover,
Trigonella foenum graecum - Fenugreek,
Vigna radiata - Green gram,
Vigna unguiculata spp. - unguiculata Cowpea,
Zea mays - Maize
[Reigosa Allelopathy]

Catch species

"Catch crops or plant species of Orobanche are host plants of parasitic weeds that induce germination and can be parasitized. They are true hosts infected or enhanced germination and attachment but hinder parasite development by mechanical, physiological or chemical factors. However, true hosts should be harvested, converted into the soil or destroyed after 6-8 weeks, before the parasite appears above the soil, or at least before starts flowering and seeding. This method can exhaust the parasite seed bank in the soil and may be effective on the long run term." [Reigosa Allelopathy]

Plant Oils

"Application of plant oils (gigelly, groundnuts, palm, sunflower, safflower, niger, castor, linseed, neem, coconut or tobacco seed oils) at a rate of two or three drops applied to the top of vegetative O. cernua killed shoots in 2-4 days (Krishna-Murthy, 1992). However, oil treatment needs to be repeated every 4-5 days and for 3-4 times on emerging shoots. Botanical pesticides from neem (Azadirachta indica), Pongamia, Nicotiana gossei and nicotine sulfate were also recommended for post-emergence control of O. cernua with plant oils (Chari 1993). Swabbing natural plant oils killed the bud and stem parts of the parasite by suffocation. The effect was selective on different parasite parts. While neem, coconut and sunflower oils showed quick knockdown effects in killing the bud part., neem oil did not kill the stem part of the parasite, and niger (Guizotia abyssiniaca), castorbean and mustard oils appeared to be somewhat less effective (Dhanapal and Struik, 1998). In another study, Azadirachta indica, coconut and sunflower oils affected the buds of O. cernua within 3 days; R. communis and G. abyssiniaca oils killed buds 3-4 days; and mustard oil took 5 days to kill buds. Coconut and sunflower oils killed Orobanche stems more rapidly than niger and castorbean oils with no phytotoxicity on tobacco was observed (Dhanapal et al. 1998). Volatile oils and crude acetone extracts of different plant species were also found effective against O. ramosa under greenhouse conditions (Solymosi, 1998)." [Reigosa Allelopathy]

Plant Residues

"Plant residues left in the soil could yield allelochemicals which may be effective against different Orobanche spp. It was found that surface and pre-plant incorporated mulches of wheat and barley straw residues used at different rates significantly reduced O. ramosa infestation and growth in potato (Haidar et al. 1995). Olive jift (Pomace) added to pea growing soil prevented O. crenata infestation to this crop and reduced infection on broad bean and tomato (Ghosheh et al. 1999). Qasem and Foy (2001), reported high allelopathic activity of dried shoot mixtures of certain weed species on seed germination of Orobanche ramosa in tomato grown under glasshouse conditions, and Qasem (2002) reported inhibitory effects of dried shoot residues and root exudates of different weed and crop species to O. ramosa infestation on tomato plants." [Reigosa Allelopathy]


"In parasitic plants that attach to host roots—e.g., Striga and Orobanche spp.—seed germination is known to occur only in the presence of chemical stimulants released from plant roots. The recent finding that these same chemicals promote the colonization of beneficial fungi has potentially important implications for the control of parasitic plants." [Runyon,2009]

"Strigolactones are germinating stimulants for some parasitic weeds, belonging to the genera Striga and Orobanche (Bouwmeester et al. 2003). The role of a sesquiterpene lactone (namely 5-deoxystrigol, strigolactone) as branching factor for mycorrhizal fungi has been firstly demonstrated by isolating this molecule from root exudates of Lotus japonicus, and by showing that other natural (sorgolactone and strigol) and synthetic (GR24) molecules induce similar effects on germinating spores of G. margarita (Akiyama et al. 2005)." [Varma Myco]

"Additional strigolactone germination stimulants that have been identified include sorgolactone from sorghum, orobanchol and alectrol from red clover, and 5-deoxy-strigol from Lotus japonicus (Hauck et al., 1992; Yokota et al., 1998; Akiyama et al., 2005). Recently, strigolactones have been shown to be apocarotenoids produced by plants via the carotenoid pathway, rather than sesquiterpenoids as had previously been assumed (Matusova et al., 2005)." [Runyon,2009]

"several haustoria in- ducing compounds have been identified from the roots of host plants. These are xenognosin A and B from exudates of tragacanth (Astragalus gummifer Labill.) and soyasapogenol B from roots of Chinese or sericea lespedzea (Lespedeza cunata [Dum.] G. Don.) (cf. Qasem and Foy, 2001)." [singh2003]

"Because these germination stimulants, collectively called strigolactones, are unstable and degrade rapidly in the soil, they occur at concentrations sufficient to induce germination only within a few millimeters of host roots (Fate et al., 1990)." [Runyon,2009]

Seeds that are in the soil remain viable for long periods of time, and they only germinate when a stimulant from the host plant is present. [Seiger PSM]

Long before the discovery of their function as plant hormones and signalling molecules for mycorrhization, strigolactones were described as germination stimulants for the seeds of root parasitic plants of the family Orobanchaceae, including Striga, Orobanche and Phelipanche genera (Cook et al. 1972; Bouwmeester et al. 2003; Lo ´pez-Ra ´ez et al. 2012). Strigolactones are produced and exuded into the rhizosphere by plants in very low amounts, being able to stimulate the germination of these parasitic plants in nano- and pico-molar concentrations. These parasitic weeds are some of the most damaging agricultural pests, causing large crop losses worldwide in cultivars such as rice, maize, tomato and legumes (Joel et al. 2007; Parker 2009). They attach to the roots and acquire nutrients and water from their host through a specialized organ called haustorium (Bouwmeester et al. 2003). The life cycle of these parasitic weeds involves germination in response to strigolactones, radicle growth towards the host root, attachment and penetration. After emergence from the soil, the parasitic plants flower and produce enormous amount of seeds that are scattered in the soil, increasing the seed bank (Bouwmeester et al. 2003; Lo ´pez-Ra ´ez et al. 2009). Parasitic weeds are difficult to control because most of their life cycle occurs underground, making the diagnosis of infection difficult and possible only when irreversible damage has already been caused to the crop. Therefore new control strategies focused on the initial steps in the host–parasite interaction, and especially those targeting seed germination induced by strigolactones are required (Lo ´pez-Ra ´ez et al. 2009). [SoilBio 37]

"Orobanchol 4a, the first Orobanche germination stimulant, was isolated from red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) root exudate [34, 35]. Structure of orobanchol was revised recently [33]. Red clover plants also produce orobanchyl acetate and an isomer of didehydro-orobanchol [36]." [Ramawat NP]

"In resistant lines of sunflowers (Helianthus annuus), 7-hydroxylated coumarins, e.g., scopoletin and its glycoside scopolin, play a defensive role against the parasitic plant Orobanche cernua by inhibiting germination of the seeds of the parasite and their attachment to the host (Serghini et al. 2001).
Although only a few out of over a hundred Orobanche ssp. and 28 Striga ssp. are colonising crops (cereals, legumes, crucifers, tomato, sunflowers, hemp, tobacco), they have a tremendous impact on the plants and are serious threats for agriculture in some parts of the world." [Reigosa Allelopathy]

Orobanche rapumgenistae - The root parasite sequesters QAs [Quinolizidine alkaloids such as sparteine, lupanine, hydroxylupanine, and 12 other QAs]from the roots of the host plant [Sarothamnus scoparius] [ACP.47]

"There is one known case where other plants derive nutrition from Pteridium. Orobanche species (plants lacking chlorophyll) parasitize Pteridium rhizomes in the Canary Isles (De Winter and Amoroso, 2003), perhaps the only area in which this phenomenon has been observed." [Mehltreter FE]

"...different parasitic species were reported to contain different forms of allelochemicals of various inhibitory properties. Dini et al. (1995) reported phenolic metabolites from dried and aerial parts of Orobanche speciosa that gave this species antimicrobial properties. Saadoun et al. (2001) showed that spike tissues of different Orobanche species contain both phenols and manitol and may act in the defense mechanism of these parasites against bacterial infection. These authors concluded that Orobanche tissues could be a potential source for antipathogenic bacterial agents." [Reigosa Allelopathy]

"In trials performed on wounded fruit, S. minor extract completely inhibited brown rot on apricots and nectarines; O. crenata extract strongly reduced grey mould on table grapes, brown rot on apricots and nectarines, and green mould on oranges (Gatto et al. 2011). Further studies on these two extracts provided the purification of two pure active phenolic compounds (verbascoside and isoverbascoside) from O. crenata extracts, showing strong in vitro antifungal activity against the abovementioned postharvest pathogens (Gatto et al. 2013)." [Tardio MWEP]

Incomplete list of species

"Orobanche aegyptiaca, although more widespread than O. crenata, is of less importance in legumes due to the different temperature requirements. This species requires higher temperatures for germination and development. Therefore, it is more often found parasitizing summer crops, like tobacco or tomato, instead of the legumes grown during winter." [Pessarakli HPCS] Hosts include; O. ramosa/O. aegyptiaca; Allium cepa, Lactuca sativa (lettuce), Helianthus annuus (sunflower), Brassica napus (colza, canola), Cucurbita pepo (pumpkin), Cucumis melo (melon), Vicia faba (broad bean ), Pisum sativum (green pea), Lens culinaris (lentil), Cicer arietinum (chickpea), Lycopersicon esculentum (tomato), Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco), Solanum tuberosum (potato), Solanum melongena (eggplant), Daucus carota (carrot), and Apium graveolens (celery) [Reigosa Allelopathy]

Orobanche alba Steph.; "This species is indicated for the whole country in the Floras and keys (FB1; FB4; KVPB; FRB; KPB; CVFB) up to 2000 m alt.... This species is usual on grassy lands, shrubs and meadows (FRB; KPB), alpine and subalpine pastures (Velen. 1891), parasitizing on Lamiaceae (FB1; PFB; T. Georgiev 1937; FB4; KVPB; FRB; KPB) – Thymus (FRB). The herbarium sheets and own collections confirm the host plants Thymus spp., Origanum vulgare, Acinos suaveolens and Satureja spp." [Sofia PFHD]

"In Saudi Arabia Orobanche cernua was identified as a root parasite of A. annua with the potential to cause yield losses (Elhag et al., 1997)." [MAP-Artemesia] Host species include; Artemisia spp., Lycopersicon esculentum (tomato) and Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco)[Reigosa Allelopathy] "The non-suitable host crops of O. cerenua including chili, sorghum, cowpea, Phaseolus aconitifolius and Hibiscus sabdariffa stimulated germination of the parasite at a high level, while sesame stimulated germination but without allowing further growth and development (Krishanmurthy and Chandwani, 1975)." [Reigosa Allelopathy]

"Orobanche cumana (broomrape) infecting only sunflower (Helianthus)" [Dighton IIS]

Orobanche crenata Host species include; Carthamus tinctoris (safflower),Vicia faba (broad bean ), sativum (green pea), Lens culinaris (lentil), Cicer arietinum (chickpea), Daucus carota (carrot), Apium graveolens (celery) [Reigosa Allelopathy]

"Orobanche ludoviciana Nuttall, Prairie Broomrape. Pastures, upland areas, and glades, parasitic on perennial composites such as Grindelia, Artemisia, and Heterotheca. April-August. SK and BC south to MO, w. TX, AZ, and n. Mexico." [Weakley FSMAS]

Orobanche minor - "Calyx completely divided into 2 segments, each of these usually divided again into 2 lobes (established around Portland and at several other localities in northern Oreg., probably elsewhere in our region; parasitic on species of Trifolium)" [Kozloff PWO] Hosts include; Carthamus tinctoris (safflower), Lactuca sativa (lettuce), Vicia faba (broad bean ), Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco), Daucus carota (carrot) and Apium graveolens (celery) [Reigosa Allelopathy] "Cultivated fields, parasitic on various hosts, especially Trifolium, Nicotiana tabacum, and Solanum lycopersicum; native of Eurasia." [Weakley FSMAS]

Orobanche pancicii Beck; "On the hills above Pazardzhik (Tatar Pazardzhik), 215 m,... 300 m, host ? Pistacia terebinthus, 29.05.2003 (KS) SOA 57052; host Cephalaria flava,... between 190 m and 1800 m alt.
The indicated host plants are Ligustrum vulgare (FB1; FB4; FRB; PFB; T. Georgiev 1937), Euonymus latifolia (FB4; FRB; T. Georgiev 1937), Dipsacaceae (KVPB) – Scabiosa (FRB; KPB) – S. leucophylla (FB1; FB4; PFB; T. Georgiev 1937). One herbarium sheet (in SOA) has a twig of Euonymus. The other sheets have not data about the host plant. The own collections confirm the host Cephalaria. One plant was found near the roots of Pistacia terebinthus." [Sofia PFHD]

Orobanche pubescens d'Urv.; "Location: Albania, District of Tepelenë (Rrethi i Te- pelenës), Griba Mts (Mali i Gribes): between Te- pelenë and Bença, ca. 2 km south of Tepelena, bank of stream Bença....168 m; being parasite on Pastinaca (leg. Z. Barina, G. Király, D. Pifkó; 04.05.2005). It is native in Southeast Europe; it was known from Greece and the area of former Yugoslavia, too (Tutin & al. 1972: 290)." [Sofia PFHD]

Orobanche ramosa "Linnaeus, Branching Broomrape. Disturbed areas; native of Asia. As discussed by Musselman (1984), the identity of the sole NC record (collected in 1884) is somewhat presumptive, and the precise location uncertain. An infestation of this serious weed was discovered in 2007 at a car wash in urban Norfolk, VA" [Weakley FSMAS]

Orobanche riparia "L.T. Collins, Riparian Broomrape. Bottomlands, parasitic on annual composites such as Ambrosia trifida, Xanthium strumarium, and Ambrosia artemisiifolia. August-October. VA, s. WV, and DC (James, Potomac, Shenandoah, and New rivers); OH, IN, IL, MO, TN (Mississippi and Ohio rivers and their tributaries); NE and CO south to w. TX and NM." [Weakley FSMAS]

Orobanche reticulata Wallr.; "The own collections and the herbarium data confirm the regions... and an altitude between 15 m and 2000 m. This species can be found on grassy and rocky slopes, in shrubs, up to the subalpine area. The records in literature indicate host plants of Asteraceae (KPB) – Cirsium, Carduus (FB1; FB4; PFB; T. Georgiev 1937) and Dipsacaceae (FB1; FB4; PFB; KPB; T. Georgiev 1937) – Knautia, Scabiosa (FRB; PFB). The herbarium sheets and the own collections confirm the hosts Achillea pectinata and Cirsium." [Sofia PFHD]

Orobanche serbica Beck & Petrovič; "This rare species is endemic for the Balkan Peninsula, with a few known localities. The only confirmed host plant for this species is Artemisia (KVPB) – A. alba [= A. camphorata (FB1; FB4; PFB; T. Georgiev 1937; Kovachev 1984); = A. lobelii (FRB)] (KPB). The unproved hosts Genista, Chamaecytisus, Alchemilla (Kovachev 1984) are indicated, probably on the basis of incorrectly determined O. minor and O. crenata, or by the plants in neighbourhood." [Sofia PFHD]

"Orobanche uniflora Linnaeus, Cancer-root. Sandy streambanks and riverbanks, rich forests. April-May. Nearly throughout s. Canada and the United States." [Weakley FSMAS]

Orobanche vulgaris: "Herbs 35–50 cm tall. Stems 15–30 cm, sparsely glandular pubescent upward. Leaves ovate-lanceolate or lanceolate, 2–2.5 cm x 4–6 mm, glabrous adaxially, glandular pubescent at margin and abaxially. Inflorescences spicate, 10–20 cm; bract ovate-lanceolate, 2–3 cm x 4–5 mm, along with calyx densely glandular pubescent; bractlets absent. Calyx 1–1.2 cm, irregularly 2-parted; segments lanceolate, entire or 2-lobed; lobes linear-lanceolate, unequal, 4–8 mm, usually 3-veined, apex long acuminate. Corolla yellow, 2–3.5 cm; tube not constricted, distinctly enlarged upward; upper lip slightly emarginate or mucronate; lobes subrounded, unequal, glandular pubescent at margin and on both sides, margin irregularly dentate or sinuolate. Filaments 1.2–1.4 cm, white villous proximally, glabrescent distally; anthers oblong, 1.8–2 mm, white pubescent. Pistil ca. 1.6 cm; ovary narrowly ellipsoid. Style ca. 1 cm, glandular pubescent; stigma 2-lobed, lobes globose, about 1 mm in diameter. Capsule oblong, 1–1.2 cm. Seeds oblong, 0.4– 0.5 x about 0.3 mm. Flowering May–July, fruiting July–September (Wu et al. 1994– 2020)." [Kunwar EH]

Journals of Interest


  1. ACP.7 - The Alkaloids: Chemistry and Physiology, 1st Edition, Volume 7 - January 1, 1960, Editor: R. H. F. Manske
  2. ACP.47 - J. Nat. Prod. 1997, 60, 1, 61 Publication Date:January 22, 1997 Copyright © 1997 American Chemical Society and American Society of Pharmacognosy
  3. [M.A. Gatto et al.] Gatto, Maria Antonia, et al. "Activity of extracts from wild edible herbs against postharvest fungal diseases of fruit and vegetables." Postharvest Biology and Technology 61.1 (2011): 72-82.
  4. O-neill&Rana,2016 - O’Neill, A.R., Rana, S.K. An ethnobotanical analysis of parasitic plants (Parijibi) in the Nepal Himalaya. J Ethnobiology Ethnomedicine 12, 14 (2016).
  5. Runyon,2009 - Runyon, J.B., Tooker, J.F., Mescher, M.C., De Moraes, C.M. (2009). Parasitic Plants in Agriculture: Chemical Ecology of Germination and Host-Plant Location as Targets for Sustainable Control: A Review. In: Lichtfouse, E. (eds) Organic Farming, Pest Control and Remediation of Soil Pollutants. Sustainable Agriculture Reviews, vol 1. Springer, Dordrecht.
  6. [singh2003] - H. P. Singh , Daizy R. Batish & R.K. Kohli (2003) Allelopathic Interactions and Allelochemicals: New Possibilities for Sustainable Weed Management, Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences, 22:3-4, 239-311, DOI: 10.1080/713610858

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