[The Broomrape Family East of the Cascade Mts. of Oregon and Washington]

Purple Broomrape, Naked Broomrape, Oneflowered Broomrape

Orobanche uniflora var. purpurea

Synonym: Orobanche uniflora ssp. purpurea

Flower of Purple Broomrape, Naked Broomrape, Oneflowered Broomrape: Orobanche uniflora var. purpurea (Synonym: Orobanche uniflora ssp. purpurea)

The photo above shows a close-up sideview of the tubular corolla of naked broomrape: Orobanche uniflora var. purpurea. Note the numerous gland-tipped hairs over the outer surface of the corolla. Photographed on slopes above the John Day River at milepost 80 along Highway 19 east of Service Creek, OR........April 8, 2007.

Host saxifrage and Purple Broomrape, Naked Broomrape, Oneflowered Broomrape: Orobanche uniflora var. purpurea (Synonym: Orobanche uniflora ssp. purpurea)Photo at right of naked broomrape (var. purpurea) with Saxifraga integrifolia var. integrifolia.
Characteristics:

Naked broomrape is an attractive perennial wildflower with single,erect floral pedicels from 5-15 cm high. The main stem is 0.5-2 cm long and is typically buried under the soil. The herbage is typically finely glandular-hairy.

The inflorescence consists of 1-3 flowers on long pedicels. The calyx is 6-12 mm long with the calyx tube from 2-4 mm long and the subequal lobes from 4-9 mm long. The corolla is 15-25 mm long and yellowish to purplish in color. The tube is curved with the lobes measuring 2-7 mm long with rounded, finely fringed tips. The anthers are 0.9-12 mm long, ranging from glabrous to woolly-pubescent.

Naked broomrape is parasitic on many saxifrages, sedums and members of the Asteraceae.


Varieties of Naked Broomrape:

variety occidentalis: Flowers cream to light yellow to purplish with the throat not much expanded. Limb is small and does not expand much. The corolla measures 1.5-2.5 cm long. The anthers are glabrous.

variety purpurea: Flowers purplish with the throat fairly expanded and spreading. The limb is large and expands widely. The corolla measures 2-3.5 cm long. The anthers are woolly.


Habitat:

Naked broomrape may be found in open, moist grasslands or occasionally in moist woodlands from the lowlands to moderate elevations in the mountains.


Range:

Naked broomrape may be found from the Yukon south to southern California and east to Newfoundland and hence south to Florida.


Purple Broomrape, Naked Broomrape, Oneflowered Broomrape: Orobanche uniflora var. purpurea (Synonym: Orobanche uniflora ssp. purpurea)

This photo shows a close-up of naked broomrape as seen on moist soils (where the snow has just melted) at Buckhorn Lookout on the western edge of the Imnaha Canyon in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest........June 27, 2008. There is quite a bit of northwestern saxifrage around the broomrape, so that may be what is providing nourishment for the individual broomrape plants.

Flower of Purple Broomrape, Naked Broomrape, Oneflowered Broomrape: Orobanche uniflora var. purpurea (Synonym: Orobanche uniflora ssp. purpurea)

A close-up frontal view of the corolla of naked broomrape (var. purpurea). Note again the numerous gland-tipped hairs, this time covering the inner surface of the corolla lobes. Photographed on slopes above the John Day River at milepost 80 along Highway 19 east of Service Creek, OR........April 8, 2007.

Paul Slichter