It is the tremendous function of most plants to manufacture their own food and a1 the same time provide food for all other Living things. Yet there are certain plants which do not make their own food. They are parasitic upon the roots or stems of other plants which usually are little the worse for the drain upon their substance.


Orobanche fasciculata Nutt.

April - August Sands.

Broomrape grows in sandy ground and is found as a parasite on Artemisia, Eriogonum, and certain other plants round in similar habitats. Broomrape is a complete parasite. The seeds seem to germinate only in contaet with the roots of the host plants : the broomrape stems spring directly from the host's roots and has none of its own. The larger broomrape has been found on Artemisia plant- which were dying from the drain of several parasites upon them.

From April to August, the broomrape sends up purplish, thickly downy, stout stems; there are a few triangular purplish scales along the stem, but no true leaves, and no greenness. At the top of the stem is a hud enwrapped in live triangular scales and from this emerges a long, curving, tubular, purplish flower which expand- with five lobes. Insects fertilize the flowers and eventually seeds form and fall to the ground. Only those which are washed down through the -oil to make contact with the roots of Artemisia will germinate and -end up new broomrape plants.