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Margriet Wetherwax, except as noted

Annual, perennial herb, shrub; often glandular; root-parasites, roots modified into absorptive structures. Stem: generally round in ×-section. Leaf: generally simple, generally alternate, reduced to ± fleshy scales in non-green plants lacking chlorophyll; stipules generally 0. Inflorescence: spike to panicle, generally bracted, or flowers 1–2 in axils. Flower: bisexual; calyx lobes 0–5; corolla generally strongly bilateral, generally 2-lipped (upper lip generally 2-lobed, lower lip generally 3-lobed), abaxial lobes outside other lobes in bud; stamens epipetalous, 4 in 2 pairs (sometimes 1 pair sterile), additional staminode 0(1), anther sacs unequal; ovary superior, chambers 1–2, placentas 2–4, parietal, style 1, stigma lobes 0 or 2. Fruit: capsule, generally ± ovoid, loculicidal, valves 2–4. Seed: many, small, angled; surface smooth or netted.
99 genera, 2060 species: worldwide, especially northern temperate and Africa. [Bennett & Matthews 2006 Amer J Bot 93:1039–1051] High yield losses in many crops caused by Orobanche species in Africa, Mediterranean, Middle East, and eastern Europe. —Scientific Editors: Robert Patterson, Bruce G. Baldwin.

Key to Orobanchaceae


Alison E.L. Colwell & Lawrence R. Heckard

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]

Key to Orobanche

O. vallicola (Jeps.) Heckard
Annual or perennial herb, 8–40 cm. Stem: stout; yellow with rosy tinge, glandular-puberulent; base generally thickened, single or multiple-branched from base. Inflorescence: > 4 cm, occasionally of > 1 raceme; bracts lanceolate, veins 3–5, inconspicuous; pedicels < 2 cm. Flower: calyx 8–15 mm, pale or ± pink, lobes 5; corolla 17–30 mm, ± yellow to pink, with pink veins (pale in contrast to stem); lips 5–9 mm, lobes narrowly acute, strongly recurved in mature flowers; anthers glabrous to hairy; stigma 2-lobed, margins recurved.
2n=48. Riparian woodland, on Sambucus nigra; < 300 m. North Coast Ranges, Cascade Range Foothills, Great Central Valley, Central Western California, Peninsular Ranges. Stem base may be large, woody in perennial plants, with past years' black stalks evident. Plants with hosts other than Sambucus nigra that key here are undescribed taxa (e.g., East of Sierra Nevada on Ericameria; Peninsular Ranges on Solidago). Jul–Sep [Online Interchange]
Unabridged synonyms: [Orobanche californica var. californica, misappl.; Orobanche californica var. claremontensis Munz, misappl.]

Previous taxon: Orobanche valida subsp. valida
Next taxon: Orthocarpus


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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Apr 1 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Orobanche, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Apr 1 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Orobanche vallicola Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.