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Common Name: Broom Rape
Orobanche ludoviciana is a perennial plant that can grow up to 1.50 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
N. America - Illinois to South Dakota, Saskatchewan, Nebraska, Texas, Arizona and California.
Grows on sandy soils[
] on the plains where it is parasitic on the roots of Ambrosia spp and other members of the Compositae[
]. It is found below 1200 metres in California[
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in most parts of the country. It requires a well-drained soil and should succeed in sun or shade.
A fully parasitic plant lacking in chlorophyll, it is entirely dependant upon its host plant for obtaining nutrient[
Root - roasted[
]. Base of young stems roasted[
The chewed plant has been used as a dressing on wounds[
A poultice of the stems has been used in the treatment of ulcerated sores[
Seed - we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in a greenhouse in a pot containing a host plant. The seed is probably best sown as soon as it is ripe if this is possible. It might also be possible to sow the seed in situ around a host plant.