Herbs & Plants

Orobanche tuberosa

Botanical Name: Orobanche tuberosa
Family: Orobanchaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Genus: Orobanche
Species: O. bulbosa

*Aphyllon tuberosum
*Myzorrhiza tuberosa
*Phelipaea tuberosa

Common Name: Ground Cone

Habitat:Orobanche tuberosa is native to Western N. America – British Columbia to N. California. It is parasitic on Gaultheria shallon, on or near the coast.

Orobanche tuberosa is a perennial plant growing to 0.1 m (0ft 5in).
It arises from a thick root and a bulbous, twisted, scaly stem base, and grows erect to a maximum height near 30 centimetres (12 in). As a parasite taking its nutrients from a host plant, it lacks leaves and chlorophyll. It is dark purple to nearly black in color, with tiny whitish bumps bearing hairs. The inflorescence is a dense spike-like or pyramid-shaped cluster of generally over 20 flowers. Each flower is tubular, between 1 and 2 centimetres (0.4 and 0.8 in) long, and yellow to purple in color.

The fruit is a capsule containing minute seeds.


The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Considering its native range it should succeed outdoors in most parts of the country. It requires a well-drained soil and should succeed in sun or shade. A fully parasitic plant lacking in chlorophyll, it is entirely dependant upon its host plant for obtaining nutrient. According to , the correct name for this species is Boschniakia hookeri.

Edible Uses:
Roots are edible. The potato-like stem bases were occasionally peeled and eaten raw as a snack by some North American Indian tribe.

Medicinal Uses:
The roots have been used in the treatment of coughs.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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