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OROBANCHACEAE

BROOM-RAPE FAMILY

Lawrence R. Heckard

Annual, perennial herb, non-green root-parasites; roots modified into absorptive structures; plant an erect, fleshy, mostly underground stem (peduncle) with terminal inflorescence
Leaf: true leaves 0
Inflorescence: spike, raceme, or panicle; bracts alternate, scale-like
Flower bisexual; calyx cylindric or cup-shaped, lobes 0–5, persistent; corolla ± 2-lipped, lobes generally 5; stamens 4, epipetalous in 2 pairs (sometimes a 5th vestigial); ovary superior, chamber 1, placentas generally 2–4, parietal, simple or lobed, stigma generally 2–4-lobed, generally bowl- to funnel-shaped
Fruit: capsule, loculicidal; valves 2–4
Seeds many, small, angled; surface netted
Genera in family: 14 genera, 200 species: especially n temp
Reference: [Thieret 1971 J Arnold Arbor 52:404–432]
Recent taxonomic note: Recently treated to include hemiparasitic genera of Scrophulariaceae (e.g., Castilleja, Cordylanthus, Orthocarpus, Pedicularis, Triphysaria [Olmstead et al. 2001 Mol Phylogen Evol 16:96–112]
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OROBANCHE

BROOM-RAPE

Annual, perennial herb, generally glandular-puberulent above; root attachment sometimes tuber-like
Stem simple or branched
Inflorescence generally ± spike-like (lower 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 generally 4–5; corolla glandular-puberulent (hairs short and tack-shaped or long-stalked), generally lacking ring of hairs at stamen bases, upper lip erect to reflexed, generally 2-lobed, lower lip 3-lobed, spreading, yellow-lined; anthers glabrous to hairy; stigma lobes 2, spreading or peltate
Fruit 2-valved; placentas generally 2 or 4, often lobed
Seed < 0.7 mm
Species in genus: 140 species: worldwide, especially Medit
Etymology: (Greek: vetch strangler, from parasitic habit)
Reference: [Heckard 1973 Madroño 22:41–70]

Native

O. californica Cham. & Schldl.

Plant 4–35 cm, pale to dark purple aboveground, glandular-puberulent
Stems 1 or clustered, slender to stout, branched below or throughout
Inflorescence long or branched and ± flat- to convex-topped; pedicels 0–4 cm, shorter upward
Flower: calyx 12–20 mm, generally pale to pinkish, lobes linear-triangular, >> tube; corolla 20–50 mm, purplish or white to rose with darker veins, moderately glandular-puberulent, lips 10–14 mm, generally widely flaring; upper lip obtuse to rounded; anthers woolly; placentas 4, stigma lobes 2, triangular, margins recurved
Ecology: Generally dry, ± rocky soils, on herbs, generally Asteraceae
Elevation: < 2500 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province (except s Channel Islands), Modoc Plateau, s East of Sierra Nevada
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, Baja California
Synonyms: O. grayana G. Beck misapplied
Sspp. highly variable, intergrading.

Native

subsp. feudgei (Munz) Heckard

Plant 10–30 cm
Stem generally branched above, stout
Inflorescence ± flat- or round-topped; branches generally < 9 cm
Flower: corolla 25–35 mm, tube ± stout, abruptly expanded above sinus, > 4 mm wide at constriction, forming ± hump-back throat 8–10 mm wide, lips moderately recurved, whitish to yellowish, purple-tinged and veined
Chromosomes: 2n=48
Ecology: Dry washes, mtn slopes, flats, on Artemisia tridentata
Elevation: 700–2500 m.
Bioregional distribution: s High Sierra Nevada, Tehachapi Mountain Area, Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges, s East of Sierra Nevada
Distribution outside California: to Baja California
Flowering time: May–Jul
Synonyms: O. grayana G. Beck var. f. Munz

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