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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. corymbosa (Rydb.) Ferris

Plant 3–17 cm, pale to purple-tinged aboveground, glandular-puberulent
Stem: branches clustered, stout, generally thickened at base
Inflorescence 3–4 cm, branched, generally round-topped, few-flowered; lower pedicels 5–30 mm below, upper 0
Flower: calyx 12–18 mm, lobes > tube, linear-triangular; corolla 20–30 mm, sparsely short-glandular, lips 5–8 mm, purplish to pink, veins darker, upper lobes rounded; anthers woolly; stigma 2-lobed, peltate
Chromosomes: 2n=48,96
Ecology: Openings in sagebrush scrub, generally on Artemisia tridentata
Elevation: 1200–2800 m.
Bioregional distribution: n Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada, Great Basin Floristic Province, n Desert Mountains (Panamint Mtns)
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, Montana, Utah
Flowering time: Jun–Aug
Synonyms: O. californica var. co. (Rydb.) Munz
Closely related to O. californica , especially subsp. feudgei.

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