Broomrapes are parasitic plants that limit the growth of broadleaf plants. Some species pose a serious threat to Australia’s broadleaf grain and vegetable industries.
Branched broomrape (Orobanche ramosa) poses the greatest threat to Australian crops. Other Orobanche species of concern which are not yet in Australia include:
Crops and native herbs are host plants for branched broomrape. Crop hosts include: canola, cabbage, broccoli, white mustard, tomato, potato, carrot, coriander, faba bean, lupins, chickpeas, lucerne, medics, clovers, lettuce, safflower and sunflowers.
There are two species of broomrapes in NSW that are not prohibited matter and have not shown any serious impacts:
The following description is a general genus level description.
Broomrapes are parasitic plants that do not have any green parts. They attach to the roots of their host plant and are only visible when the flowering stem emerges from the ground for a short time. They are up to 65 cm tall. Clover broomrapes are up to 40 cm tall and the native broomrapes are up to 45 cm tall.
Broomrapes look similar to the native potato orchid (Gastrodia sesamoides), which is taller (up to 75 cm) and its flowers are brownish on the outside.
There are no known infestations of the prohibited matter species of broomrapes in NSW.
Worldwide there are approximately 140 species of broomrape. Branched broomrape is native to southern Europe, western Asia and northern Africa. Five other broomrape species are major crop weeds in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia and America.
Broomrapes are annual plants that grow from seed and require a host plant to survive. After a broomrape seed germinates, the seedling’s roots attach to the roots of a host plant and the whole broomrape plant remains underground until its flowering stems emerge (about 6 weeks after germination). Flowering and seed set occurs within 2–3 weeks. One plant can produce thousands of seeds per year which can lay dormant in the soil for many years.
Most seed spread in Australia has been in contamintated soil that has been moved via farm machinery, vehicles, boots and the hooves of livestock. Seed can also spread by wind, floodwater and in contaminated grain and hay. Livestock can move seed via their gut if the seeds are in their feed or when it sticks to their hair or wool.
Faithfull I & McLaren D (2004) Branched broomrape – identification: State prohibited weed. Landcare Note LC0272. State of Victoria, Department of Sustainability and Environment
Hosking JR, Sainty GR, Jacobs SWL & Dellow LL (in prep) The Australian WeedBOOK
Mohamed, K. I., & Musselman, L. J. (2008). Taxonomy of agronomically important Striga and Orobanche species. Progress on farmer training in parasitic weed management, 41(3), 7-14.
Panetta, F. D., & Lawes, R. (2007). Evaluation of the Australian branched broomrape (Orobanche ramosa) eradication program. Weed Science, 55(6), 644-651.
Prider, J., Correll, R., & Warren, P. (2012). A model for risk-based assessment of Phelipanche mutelii (branched broomrape) eradication in fields. Weed Research, 52(6), 526-534.
Secomb, N. (2006, September). Defining the distribution of branched broomrape (Orobanche ramosa L.) by tracing the movement of potential vectors for the spread of seed. In Proceedings of the fifteenth Australian weeds conference (pp. 24-28).
Virtue, J. DeDear, C. Traeger, A. Anderson, F. & Broonell, B. (2002) Potential hosts of branched broomrape (Orobanche ramosa L.) in Australia. In Proceedings of the 13th Australian Weeds Conference. CAWS.
Please do not attempt to treat or dispose of this weed yourself. Report this plant if you see it anywhere in NSW by calling the helpline listed at the top of this page immediately.
NSW DPI will lead an initial response for the treatment and disposal of the plant to stop it from spreading.
See Using herbicides for more information.
Glyphosate 360 g/L
Rate: 10 mL per 1 L water
Comments: Spot spray
Withholding period: Nil.
Herbicide group: 9 (previously group M), Inhibition of 5-enolpyruvyl shikimate-3 phosphate synthase (EPSP inhibition)
Resistance risk: Moderate
The content provided here is for information purposes only and is taken from the Biosecurity Act 2015 and its subordinate legislation, and the Regional Strategic Weed Management Plans (published by each Local Land Services region in NSW). It describes the state and regional priorities for weeds in New South Wales, Australia.
|All of NSW||General Biosecurity Duty
All pest plants are regulated with a general biosecurity duty to prevent, eliminate or minimise any biosecurity risk they may pose. Any person who deals with any plant, who knows (or ought to know) of any biosecurity risk, has a duty to ensure the risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised, so far as is reasonably practicable.
|All of NSW||
A person who deals with prohibited matter or a carrier of prohibited matter is guilty of an offence. A person who becomes aware of or suspects the presence of prohibited matter must immediately notify the Department of Primary Industries
All species of Orobanche are Prohibited Matter in NSW, except Clover broomrape, Orobanche minor and Australian broomrape, Orobanche cernua var. australiana.