by Stephen Mifsud
   2 Mar 2024      ()
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Orobanche cernua   (Drooping Broomrape)

Orobanche cernua  (OROBANCHE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Dec-2007 (taxon update: none)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Orobanche cernua - datasheet created on Dec-2007. Retrieved from on 02-Mar-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Orobanche cernuaLoefl.
Published in Iter Hispan. : 152 (1758)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Orobanche media Desf.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Orobanche Vent. (The Broomrape Family)
12 species from the Orobanche family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Drooping Broomrape

Maltese name(s) :

Maltese name not known

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: THEROPHYTE ( annual plants, herbaceous )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Threatened status for the Maltese Islands and has been listed in the Red Data Book (1st ed.)

Flowering Time :

April – May

Colour of Flowers:

Violet or Blue


Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :


Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: On Artemisia spp. and Helianthus annuus, rarely on other herbs.
Preferred habitat in Malta: Data will be available in the next update of this website.
Botanical Description: Stems up to 40 cm, only slightly swollen at base, more or less glandular-pubescent, yellowish. Leaves 5-10 mm, ovate-lanceolate. Spike up to 25 x 2.5-4 cm, usually dense, glandular-puberulent, brown, variably tinged with blue; bracts 7-12 mm, ovate to lanceolate. Calyx 7-12 mm; segments free, more or less bidentate. Corolla 12-20 mm, sparsely glandular-puberulent, suberect, conspicuously inflated and whitish-scarious at base, constricted and inflected near middle, the distal part patent or somewhat deflexed, violet-blue, sparsely pubescent; lobes of lower lip subequal, not ciliate. Filaments glabrous or subglabrous, inserted 4-6 mm above base of corolla; anthers glabrous. Stigma whitish. Capsule 8-10 mm.
Chromosome number: 2n=24
Distributional range: S. Europe, extending northwards to S. Czechoslovakia and to c. 54° N. in E. Russia

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Britain (excl. Northern Ireland and Channel islands), Corse, Crete, Czeck Republic and Slovakia, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Greece, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Hungary, Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Romania, Russia and former USSR, Sicily and/or Malta, Turkey (European part)
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
Ab(A) Ag Al Ar Br Bu Ca(C F H L T) -Co Cr Ct Eg Ga(F) Gr He Hs(S) Hu Ir It Jo Le Li Ma Mo Rf(C CS E S) Rm Si(M S) Sn Sr Sy Tn Tu(A E) Uk(K) [Md Sk]

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (3 images)
   Orobanche cernua   -   Image Code: ORBCE-0.
   Orobanche cernua   -   Image Code: ORBCE-1.
   Orobanche cernua   -   Image Code: ORBCE-2.

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Section B:   Where have you seen this plant on the Maltese Islands?
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