Orobanche cernua var. australiana (F.Muell. ex Tate) J.M.Black ex Beck

Australian Broomrape

Pflanzenr. 96: 128 (1930) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:Victoria: vulnerable (v)

Brown erect herb, usually 15–45 cm high, glandular-hairy with hairs on the inflorescence and stem 0.1–3 mm long, appressed and irregularly curled. Leaves broad-ovate, 8–20 mm long, 2–5 mm wide; bracts often larger than leaves. Calyx segments 10–15 mm long, entire, obscurely ribbed, appressed on either side of the corolla, possibly sometimes also with a minute abaxial sepal present; corolla 15–20 mm long, purple at least on the lobes, glabrous but for small patches of irregularly curled glandular hairs, tube initially ascending then decurved, upper lip emarginate or 2-lobed and recurved, lower lip 3-lobed, the lobes obscurely crenate; stamen filaments glabrous, thickened towards base, anthers drying white; style whitish. Capsule 8–10 mm long.   Flowers mostly spring. 

Gold, MuF, MuM, NIS, RobP, VRiv. Also WA, SA, NSW. Extremely rare across its entire range; in Victoria known only from Eucalyptus microcarpa woodland on heavy black clay near Kamarooka (1986), and a pre-1900 collection labelled 'Swan Hill'. A fragmentary, fruiting specimen from sandy mallee near Hattah (1977) may also be referable to this species.

Known only from restricted populations throughout its Australian range, attached to native Asteraceae (e.g. Senecio spp.). Its northern counterpart (i.e. var. cernua), ranging from the Philippines to Europe, is a serious agricultural pest. There is no evidence for the Australian taxon attaching to introduced plants.  

Source: Barker, W.R. (1999). Orobanchaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2019-09-30
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Distribution map


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Orobanche cernua var. australiana in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Orobanche cernua var. australiana in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Robinvale Plains present native
Murray Fans present native
Goldfields present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales