Fernkloof Nature Reserve
Scientific name - Orobanche ramosa
Common name - Blouduiwel
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Habitat Sandy flats
Flowering time August to November
Description Introduced from Europe.
Root holoparasite up to 30cm high with fleshy stems covered with scale-like leaves and gland-tipped hairs. Flowers arranged in a spike, tube-shaped, light-purple and white, hairy. Each plant may produce 200 000 seeds in a single season. These parasites can therefore become serious pests. Seed germination is triggered by the chemical strigol, produced by certain roots.
Host plants can be indigenous and exotic, including Artemisia, Gazania, Nicotiana, Pelargonium and Senecios.
From Greek: orobus, vetch and anchein, strangle = parasite believed to kill the host plant.
2017 / 3 / 27