Orobanche uniflora L.
One-flowered Broomrape, One-flower Cancer Root
Orobanchaceae (Broom-Rape Family)
Synonym(s): Aphyllon uniflorum, Orobanche porphyrantha, Orobanche purpurea, Orobanche sedii, Orobanche terrae-novae, Orobanche uniflora ssp. occidentalis, Orobanche uniflora var. minuta, Orobanche uniflora var. occidentalis, Orobanche uniflora var. purpurea, Orobanche uniflora var. sedii, Orobanche uniflora var. terrae-novae, Orobanche uniflora var. typica, Thalesia uniflora
USDA Symbol: ORUN
A parasitic plant with mostly 1-3 erect, slender, leafless yellowish-brown stalks rising from a short underground stem, each stalk topped by 1 white to whitish-lavender to purple, fragrant, bilaterally symmetrical flower with a yellow center.
This parasitic plant obtains its nourishment from the roots of various other plants, often stonecrops (Sedum). Its underground stem is quite short, usually 1-1 1/2" (2.5-4 cm) long. Clustered Broomrape (O. fasciculata), also known as Yellow Broomrape, has mostly 5-10 long, slender, 1-flowered stalks rising from a short, trunk-like stem usually 2-6" (5-15 cm) long; it occurs in the midwestern and Plains states. Louisiana Broomrape (O. ludoviciana), also found in the Midwest and on the plains, has flowers in dense, spike-like clusters. Both of these species are parasitic, especially on members of the aster family (Asteraceae). Lesser Broomrape (O. minor), with purple-tinged flowers in dense spikes, is parasitic mostly on the roots of clovers (Trifolium), of the pea family (Fabaceae); it was naturalized from Europe and now occurs from New York to Florida.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Annual
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 10 inches tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Yellow , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: AK , AL , AR , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: AB , BC , NB , NL , NS , ON , PE , QC , SK
Native Distribution: Southwestern Canada south throughout West; Ontario east to Newfoundland, south to Florida, west to Texas, and north to South Dakota.
Native Habitat: Damp woods and thickets; open places from lowlands to moderate elevations in mountains.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
Web ReferenceWebref 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 resourcesUSDA: Find Orobanche uniflora in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Orobanche uniflora in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Orobanche uniflora
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-04-26
Research By: TWC Staff