If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

18 July, 2010

Knapweed Broomrape (Orobanche elatior)

No, I have not started photographing dead plants! This is a real, live specimen and yet there is no trace of any green on it at all.

The broomrape family are parasitic plants and the Knapweed Broomrape is, naturally, parasitic on both species of knapweed, but mainly Greater Knapweed.

Because it is a parasite deriving its nutrients from its host plant it has no need for chlorophyll and so it is not green, the colour chlorophyll would give it.

Knapweed Broomrape is an uncommon plant found mainly on the calcareous soils of southern England and so can occasionally be found in Dorset on the cliffs and downs where there is, of course, Knapweed.