small broomrape

Scrophulariales > Orobanchaceae > 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 0.5 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

  • Weeds of the Week - USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area, Forest Health Protection

Selected Images from Invasive.org

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Plant(s); Parasitizing Oxalis sp. Colquitt County, Georgia
Richard Carter, Valdosta State University, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); Close-up, Colquitt Co., Georgia, 2003
Richard Carter, Valdosta State University, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); Newly emerged plants. Pelham, Mitchell Co., Georgia, 2003
Richard Carter, Valdosta State University, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); Roots
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); showing attachment to weed host
Steve M. Brown, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); Parasitizing Hypochaeris brasiliensis var. tweedei (Cat's Ear), Colquitt County, Georgia
Richard Carter, Valdosta State University, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Rebecca Norris, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Diagram or Graphic; Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. Illustrated flora of the northern states and Canada. Vol. 3: 235.
USDA PLANTS Database, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Invasive Reference(s):

Check Invasive.org for most current lists.
  • Federal Noxious Weed List
  • Georgia - EPPC list
  • North Carolina - Noxious Weed Law
  • South Carolina - Noxious Weed Law


External Links


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USDA Forest Service Bugwood University of Georgia