Weed Seed: Broomrape (Orobanche spp.)

Family

Orobanchaceae (Scrophulariaceae)

Distribution in Canada

O. hederae, O. ramosa and O. aegyptiaca are not found in Canada.

Common native species found in Canada are

  • O. fasciculata: YT, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON
  • O. ludoviciana: BC, AB, SK, MB
  • O. uniflora: all provinces (except in YT, NT, NU and NL)

Duration of life cycle

Annual or perennial

Seed/Fruit type

True seed

Seed identification features

Size

  • length: 0.2–0.5 mm
  • width: 0.1–0.3 mm

Shape

  • outline variation: oval, oblong, teardrop- or wedge-shaped

Surface texture

  • surface is covered in deep cells (usually glossy), but a few have a floury coating within the cells (O. ramosa)

Colour

  • pale yellow (immature), golden yellow (common), orange or brown

Other structures

  • without magnification, seeds appear as dust particles

Similar species

Witchweed (Striga spp.)

  • found only in the southeastern United States
  • similar to Orobanche spp. in small size, colour and shape
  • surface texture of Striga spp. is composed of concentric ridges, not cells (as in Orobanche spp.)

Photos

Photo - Ivy broomrape (Orobanche hederae) seed
Ivy broomrape (Orobanche hederae) seed

Similar species

Photo - Similar species: Witchweed (Striga asiatica) seed
Similar species: Witchweed (Striga asiatica) seed
Photo - Similar species: Witchweed (Striga asiatica) seeds
Similar species: Witchweed (Striga asiatica) seeds
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