(Orobanche species, excluding O. minor and O. cernua var. australiana)

Status of broomrape in Tasmania

Broomrape, photo: DPI NSW Broomrape,© DPI NSW
  • There are several species of non-native broomrape (Orobanche species) which are declared weeds in Tasmania under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999.
  • The native broomrape (O. cernua var. australiana) and another introduced broomrape (O. minor) are present in Tasmania but not considered to be a weed problem and do not come under the broomrape declaration.
  • The importation, sale and distribution of the declared species of broomrape are prohibited in Tasmania. The legal responsibilities of landholders and other stakeholders in dealing with broomrape are laid out in the Broomrape Statutory Weed Management Plan.

What does broomrape look like?

  • Broomrape is a parasitic short-lived herb growing to 20 cm high. The plant has no green growth. The stems are yellow-brown and branched from the base, with dense woolly hairs on upper parts. The leaves are reduced to a few brown scales. The flowers are pale blue, tubular and two-lipped, with the lower lip three-lobed and the upper lip shallowly two-lobed. An erect spike of flowers appears in spring and summer. The seeds are pepper-like, with up to 40 000 seeds per plant.
  • Broomrape seedlings need to attach to a host-plant root in order to grow. The seedling grows underground for about 6 weeks before emergence above ground. The plant flowers and sets seed within two weeks of emerging then dies; however the dried plant may remain visible for several months.
    Branched broomrape, photo: DPI Victoria Broomrape flowers,
    © DPI Victoria
  • Spread is by seed. Seed remains viable for 10 years and is stimulated to germinate by exudates from plant roots.
  • If you are still in doubt about the weed you are dealing with, contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777 for help.

Impacts of broomrape

  • Broomrape is a serious weed of broadleaved crops.

Where does broomrape occur?

  • Broomrape is a native of southern Europe, western Asia, Middle East and northern Africa. On mainland Australia, broomrape has naturalised in South Australia.
  • Apart from O. minor (not included under the broomrape declaration), Broomrape has not naturalised in Tasmania.

What you need to do

  • If you locate broomrape anywhere in Tasmania, or if you find a plant that you think could be broomrape, immediately contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777 to report this weed.

See also
Broomrape Statutory Weed Management Plan
Weed Links and Resources

Other useful links
Pest Genie

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