small broomrape USDA PLANTS SYMBOL: ORMI
Orobanche minor Smith
Synonym(s): hellroot

Small broomrape 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 ½ in. (1.3 cm) long, purple-tinged petals. Flowering occurs in the winter and spring. Small broomrape is highly prolific. Seeds are very small (dust-size) and remain viable for 10 or more years. Small broomrape 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. Small broomrape is native to the Middle East and was probably introduced into North America with contaminated seed.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources