Aphyllon vallicola (elderberry broomrape)

There is a new treatment of the genus Orobanche; They are now in the genus Aphyllon. The host for each species has increased importance in the taxonomy of these non-photosynthesizing parasitic plants. New species are being recognized that once were lumped.  If you find any species of Orobanche, it may be one of those new ones, so if possible take a photograph and note the host species. Then if you e-mail me I can refer you to the experts. Particularly they would like to hear of any occurences seen in Marin on the roots of Symphyotrichum chilense (Pacific aster) or Symphyotrichum lentum (Suisun marsh aster) (both formerly in genus Aster).

An uncommon species in Marin is Aphyllon vallicola which grows on the roots of creekside blue-berried elderberry , Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea. The picture was taken near Drake High School. So far only two occurences are recorded here; the other is in Novato but hasn’t been seen recently .

 

Orobanche vallicola

Orobanche vallicola (Elderberry Broomrape)