Encyclopaedia Britannica 11th Edition


known botanically as Orobanche, a genus of brown leafless herbs growing attached to the roots of other plants from which they derive their nourishment. The usually stout stem bears brownish scales, and ends in a spike of yellow, reddish-brown or purplish flowers, with a gaping two-lipped corolla. Several species occur in the British Isles; the largest, Orobanche major, is parasitic on roots of shrubby leguminous plants, and has a stout stem 1 to 2 ft. high.