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Conopholis americana (American cancer-root)
Cressler, Alan

Conopholis americana

Conopholis americana (L.) Wallr.

American Cancer-root, Squawroot

Orobanchaceae (Broom-Rape Family)

Synonym(s): Orobanche americana


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

A parasitic plant with yellowish to cream-colored flowers emerging among lanceolate or ovate, pointed, yellow-tan scales on upper part of a fleshy stalk.

This plant resembles a pinecone as it becomes dry and brown with age. A parasite, it gets its nourishment from the roots of oaks, its host trees. A closely related species, Alpine Squawroot (C. alpina), occurs from the southwestern United States down to Oaxaca in southern Mexico.


From the Image Gallery

18 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 8 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun


USA: AL , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NS
Native Distribution: Manitoba east to Nova Scotia, south to Florida, west to Mississippi, and north to Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin.
Native Habitat: Woods, under oaks.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Conopholis americana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Conopholis americana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Conopholis americana


Record Modified: 2023-04-25
Research By: TWC Staff

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