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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Orobanche cernua

Citation: Loefl., Iter. Hisp. 152 (1758) var. australiana (F. Muell. ex Tate)J. Black ex G. Beck, Pflanzenr. 96 (4.261):128 (1930).

Synonymy: O. australiana F. Muell. ex Tare, Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 6:174 (1883); O. cernua Loefl. forma australiana (F. Muell. ex Tate)G. Beck, Biblthca Bol. 19:144 (1890).

Common name: Australian broomrape.

Brown herb 15-45 cm or more high, covered by glandular hairs; stems usually simple, stout; leaves broadly ovate-triangular, 0.8-2 cm long, acuminate.

Spikes at least half the height of the plant, with bracts often larger than the leaves; sepals ovate-linear, acuminate, appressed on either side of the corolla, possibly sometimes also with a minute third sepal present; corolla 15-20 mm long along the upper side, purple at least on the lobes, the tube broad-cylindrical, at length decurved, the upper lip emarginate or 2-lobed, recurved, the lower lip 3-lobed; stamens whitish; ovary and stigma yellow, the style whitish.

Capsule about half the length of the more or less persistent dried corolla.

Published illustration: Cunningham et al. (1982) Plants of western New South Wales, p.604.

Distribution:  In dry sandy creekbeds. Parasitic on native Senecio spp., including S. cunninghamii, and, from label data, Ixiolaena tomentosa, but data on host range are poor.

  W.Aust.; N.S.W.; ?Vic.   Eurasia.

Conservation status: native

Flowering time: July — early Nov.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: No text

Taxonomic notes: Generally Australian botanists have treated this plant as a species endemic to Australia but have misconstrued or failed to provide diagnostic characters. Beck, who twice monographed Orobanche, and other European botanists, including Bentham (1868), Fl. Aust. 4:533, are followed, for no characters justifying an Australian species have been found.

Author: Not yet available

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