Orobanche ramosa - L.
Branched Broomrape
Synonym(s): Phelipanche ramosa (Linnaeus) Pomel
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Orobanche ramosa L. (TSN 34298)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.132963
Element Code: PDORO040D0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Broom-Rape Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Scrophulariales Orobanchaceae Orobanche
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Orobanche ramosa
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States California (SNA), Illinois (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), North Carolina (SNA), Texas (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CAexotic, ILexotic, KYexotic, NCexotic, NJexotic, TXexotic

Range Map
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Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
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Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
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Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: Low/Insignificant
Rounded I-Rank: Low
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Orobanche ramosa is reported in only a few places in the U.S.; however, these reports are widely dispersed and occur in a wide range of climates. It has not yet been reported in intact natural areas, however it does invade crop and farmland and produces large numbers of small seeds which are easily transported by wind, equipment, or animals. While it hasn't yet shown itself to be an aggressive invader, it is listed as noxious in several states as well as federally and could be difficult to remove if it is able to invade natural communities, hence, it is a species to look out for.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Insignificant
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: Low/Insignificant
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: Medium/Low
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Unknown
I-Rank Review Date: 01Jun2006
Evaluator: Davis, G.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Northern Africa, Europe, and western Asia (USDA, ARS 2006).

Download "An Invasive Species Assessment Protocol: Evaluating Non-Native Plants for their Impact on Biodiversity". (PDF, 1.03MB)
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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: Orobanche ramosa is rarely introduced in the U.S. (Gleason and Cronquist 1991, Mohlenbrock 1986).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Unknown
Comments: Orobanche ramosa is a plant parasite which has been largely collected parasitising crop plants (e.g., all specimens recorded in the University of California and Jepson Herbaria SMASCH database were collected growing on tomato plants (University and Jepson Herbaria 2006)), but according to the USDA (APHIS 2006) it is known to grow on the roots of a broad range of wild broadleaf plants including Engelmann daisy, burr clover, blue bonnet and wild geranium. It is not clear whether this species has escaped to intact natural areas, but it seems likely given the plant's biology.

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Insignificant

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Insignificant
Comments: The biology of Orobanche ramosa (as a parasite on roots of other plants) does not lend itself to alteration of abiotic ecosystem or system-wide parameters.

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Low significance
Comments: This species could affect the herbaceous layer by killing its host plants.

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:Low significance
Comments: There is no specific evidence showing that Orobanche ramosa affects species composition of communities, however, since it is a parasite with a preference for certain broadleaf species, it is likely that it would reduce the abundance of some species over others where it infests.

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Medium/Low significance
Comments: There are no reports of this species directly impacting a particular native species, but it does appear to have some preference of host plant so it is possible that it could have a heavier impact on some species than others.

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Insignificant
Comments: Orobanche ramosa is a significant agricultural pest which can cause complete crop failure (USDA, APHIS), however, no evidence of Orobanche ramosa infesting high-quality or rare natural communities was found.

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: Low/Insignificant

6. Current Range Size in Nation:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Orobanche ramosa has been reported in a few counties of California, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Texas (Kartesz 1999, PLANTS 2006) so it has a very wide, but also extremely spotty range.

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Insignificant
Comments: This species has not been reported as having a significant impact outside of agricultural crops.

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Orobanche ramosa has been collected in widely disparate states covering a number of ecoregions, however, it is not likely to be present in all of them.

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Low significance
Comments: So far, Orabanche ramosa has been reported only as a crop-pest (USDA, APHIS).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: Medium/Low

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:Low significance
Comments: There is no obvious indication that this species is expanding its generalized range, however, given the spottiness of it's distribution and the potential for the seeds to be distributed widely by wind, it is possible that its range is slowly expanding.

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:High significance
Comments: Given the spottiness of reports of this species and the fact that these reports are from distinctly different climates, the species has a high probability for occupying a greater percentage of its range.

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Orobanche ramosa has tiny seeds which are easily carried by farm and construction equipment, water, wind, or animal droppings (USDA, APHIS 2006).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:Low significance
Comments: There are no reports to suggest that the species is spreading rapidly to natural areas. It is listed as noxious in several states with rapid action taken to eradicate it when it is found in crops (USDA, APHIS 2006), reducing the likelihood of it colonizing natural areas from cropland.

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Medium/Low significance
Comments: There are no reports of Orobanche ramosa establishing in intact natural areas, however, given its biology (colonizing existing vegetation as a parasite at ground level), there is no reason to believe it could not invade intact communities.

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Low significance
Comments: In other countries where Orobanche ramosa has invaded, it tends to act similar to how it does in the U.S. - being a crop pest. In Australia, the effect on native vegetation is unknown, but it is thought to affect only a small number of native species (Department of Environment and Heritage Environment Reporting 2004).

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Moderate significance
Comments: Orobanche ramosa matures to flowering in three days, has seed pods that mature in fourteen days, produces 50,000 or more seeds, and has seeds that can survive in the soil for more than ten years (USDA, APHIS 2006).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Unknown

17. General Management Difficulty:Moderate significance
Comments: Current control methods for crop infestations are a combination of mechanical removal, treating the area with low rates glyphosate, and planting false host crops (USDA, APHIS 2006). Australia has a program to eradicate Orobanche ramosa from the country through isolation and fumigation of known infested areas over a 70 km x 70 km area which is projected to cost $7.6 million over four years (Australian Senate 2004). There is little information available on how to remove the species from natural areas.

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Unknown

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Unknown

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:Unknown
Authors/Contributors
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Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Australian Senate Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts References Committee. 2004. Turning back the tide - the invasive species challenge. Report on the regulation, control and management of invasive species and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Invasive Species) Bill 2002. Commomwealth of Australia. Available online: http://www.aph.gov.au/senate_communications/invasive_species/report/. Accessed 2006.

  • Department for Environment and Heritage Environment Reporting. December 16, 2004 last update. Biodiversity - Introduced Species. Available online: http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/reporting/biodiversity/introduced/number.html#invasive. Accessed 2006.

  • Gleason, H.A., and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1996. Species distribution data at state and province level for vascular plant taxa of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (accepted records), from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, December, 1996.

  • Mohlenbrock, R.H. 1986. Guide to the vascular flora of Illinois. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale and Edwardsville, Illinois. 507 pp.

  • Scher, J. Not dated. Federal noxious weed dissemunules of the U.S. Online: http://www.lucidcentral.org/keys/FNW/FNW%20Disseminules%20Key/html/index.htm. Accessed 2006.

  • USDA, APHIS, PPQ; Texas Agriculture Experiment Station; TAEX. No date. Keep watch for branched broomrape (Orobanche ramosa), a major threat to U.S. Crops. Weed Alert. Available online: http://www-aes.tamu.edu/mary/brmrape/brmrape.htm. Accessed 2006.

  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. No date. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. URL: http://www.ars-grin.gov2/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?409853. (Accessed 2006).

  • USDA, NRCS. 2006. The PLANTS Database. Data compiled from various sources by Mark W. Skinner. National Plant Data Center (http://npdc.usda.gov), Baton Rouge, LA. Online. Available: http://plants.usda.gov (Accessed 2006).

  • University and Jepson Herbaria. No date. Specimen Management System for California Herbaria (SMASCH). Available online: http://www.mip.berkeley.edu/www_apps/smasch/

  • Weakley, A.S. 2015. Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States. Working Draft of 21 May 2015. University of North Carolina Herbarium (NCU), North Carolina Botanical Garden, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Online. Available: www.herbarium.unc.edu/FloraArchives/WeakleyFlora_2015-05-29.pdf (Accessed 2015).

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