Knapweed Broomrape sea-cliff,
Isle of Portland, Dorset
Close-up of upper and lower lips of the flowers
Glands, stigma lobe and scale-like bracts
June to July
It is found mainly in the South and East, and is thinly
For a map see the National Biodiversity Network Gateway
It is almost exclusively parasitic on Greater Knapweed and is
found on chalk and limestone grassland, in quarries and
alongside roads and railways.
Knapweed Broomrape is a native, perennial, parasitic herb,
growing up to 75cm.
Flowers are honey yellow, glandular and up to 25mm.
The upper lip of the flower is usually 2-lobed and slightly crisped.
The lower lip has 3 roughly equal crisped lobes.
The stigma lobes are yellow and the stamens are inserted above
the base of the corolla tube.
Bracts are scale-like, lanceolate and shorter than the flowers.
I found it very difficult to distinguish between Knapweed
Broomrape and Greater Broomrape. The plant shown here was
growing in an area where there is plenty of its main host -Greater
Knapweed, but it appeared to be most closely associated with
the leguminous Common Rest-harrow.
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