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Orobanche californica facts for kids

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Orobanche californica
Orobanche californica ssp. californica.jpg
Orobanche californica ssp. californica
Conservation status

Apparently Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification

Orobanche californica, known by the common name California broomrape, is a species of broomrape. It is a parasitic plant growing attached to the roots of other plants, usually members of the Asteraceae.


Orobanche californica is native to western North America from British Columbia and Idaho, through California and Nevada, to Baja California. It is found in many types of habitats. It has been noted to be associated with California goldenrod (Solidago californica) and sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata).


This plant arises from a thick root and grows erect to a maximum height near 35 centimetres (14 in), with one stem or a cluster of several. As a parasite taking its nutrients from a host plant, it lacks leaves and chlorophyll. It is light to dark purple in color and coated with glandular hairs.

The inflorescence is an elongated or branching array of several flowers. Each flower is tubular, up to 5 centimeters long, and pale pink, yellowish, or purple in color, sometimes with stark veining. The fruit is a capsule containing minute seeds.


There are several subspecies, which are sometimes difficult to differentiate. They include:


The Paiute people of eastern California and the Great Basin used a decoction as a cold remedy and pulmonary aid.

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