Orobanche uniflora L.

Orobanche uniflora flower

Family - Orobanchaceae

Stems - Parasitic on roots of other vascular plants, herbaceous, achlorophyllous, subterranean, thin, glabrous.

Leaves - Alternate, few, reduced to scales, whitish-tan, 2-3mm long, glabrous, ovate.

Inflorescence - Solitary flower on axillary pedicel to 15cm long. Pedicel glandular pubescent, erect.

Flower - Corolla typically white, tubular, 2.2cm long, dense glandular pubescent, 5-lobed. Lobes to 6mm long, 4.5mm broad, with two yellow bearded strips alternating with two bottom lobes. Stamens 4, adnate at base of corolla tube, alternating with lobes. Filaments white, glabrous, to +4mm long. Anthers pale yellow, 1.1mm long. Style 7-8mm long, glabrous, tubular, expanded at apex. Stigma two lobed. Calyx tube campanulate, 5-lobed. Tube to 4mm long, 5-6mm in diameter, dense glandular pubescent. Lobes attenuate, to 5mm long, glandular pubescent.

Orobanche uniflora flowerCalyx and corolla.

Flowering - April - June.

Habitat - Wooded slopes, rocky open woods, rocky glades, base of bluffs.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - I like the parasitic plants and this plant is no exception. It's a small plant but easy to find because of the fairly large white flower. The big tubular corolla with the yellow bearded strips is just screaming to be visited by a bee or small wasp. The stems are short and thin and rarely seen unless you dig a bit at the base of the pedicel.

Photographs taken in the Hercules Glade Wilderness, Mark Twain National Forest, Taney County, MO., 4-29-00.