Orobanche californica subsp. californica

It’s been a while since BPotD has featured a contribution from frequent commenter Eric in SF@Flickr, so here’s one from his weekend trip to Point Reyes, California (original image via the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool). If you’re a relatively recent reader of BPotD, you may not know that Eric also runs orchidphotos.org. Thanks again!

Including all of its five subspecies, Orobanche californica (or California broomrape) is native from British Columbia to Baja California, extending as far east as Montana. Subspecies californica, however, is restricted to coastal areas of British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California where it parasitizes the roots of species of Grindelia (Asteraceae). Other subspecies are typically associated with different genera in the Asteraceae.

This subspecies of California broomrape reaches 5-27cm (2 to 10.5in) in height. Its coastal requirements mean that it is typically found in sandy or heavy soils below 150m (500ft.) in elevation (when it is found — it is uncommon throughout its range).

Additional photographs are available from Eric in S.F. or the Burke Museum: Orobanche californica.

Botany / photography resource link: local BPotD reader Verity G. sent along the following link for your interest: X-rays of Flowers by Hugh Turvey from the UK’s Telegraph. More of Hugh’s (non-flower) images can be seen at gustoimages.

Orobanche californica subsp. californica

6 responses to “Orobanche californica subsp. californica”

  1. Heather

    Yum! These look like edible flowers atop a wedding cake.

  2. Kathleen Garness

    Amazing detail!!

  3. Moralea

    I have these on my property in Metchosin on Grindelia on a mossy outcrop at about 150m, several miles from the coast. A lovely surprise on a dry summer day.

  4. CherriesWalks

    is it parasitic?

  5. Earl Blackstock

    Eric In SF-Always appreciate your contributions to
    this site.

  6. elizabeth a airhart

    thank you eric sf fine picture for the world
    to enjoy- tis parasitic indeed
    burke is a good site -many images
    x rays of flowers by hugh turvey is just fine
    have a drink on hand if you click on to
    the creepy crawly things -thank you daniel

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