small broomrape
Orobanche minor Smith


Orobanche minor is a fleshy, herbaceous, annual, parasitic plant that grows up to 22 in. (55.9 cm) tall. It attaches to the roots of broadleaf hosts (especially Trifolium spp.). The fleshy stem is yellow to straw colored and sticky.
Leaves are greatly reduced (vestigial), alternate and triangular shaped.
Flowers, borne on terminal clusters, are snapdragon-like, with 0.5 in. (1.3 cm) long, purple-tinged petals. Flowering occurs in the winter and spring.
This plant is highly prolific. Seeds are very small (dust-size) and remain viable for 10 or more years.
Ecological Threat
Orobanche minor is a Federal Noxious Weed and concern exists that it may spread to infest crops such as legume forages and leafy green vegetables. Heavy infestations can cause crop failure. It is native to the Middle East and was probably introduced into North America with contaminated seed.


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EDDMapS Distribution

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State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Scrophulariales
Family: Orobanchaceae
Genus: Orobanche
Subject: Orobanche minor Smith

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:


Plants - Forbs/Herbs