Clustered Broomrape

This was a rare treat; I’m not sure I’ve ever seen this cool-looking little plant before.

The plants are parasitic, and this one is most likely dependent on the fringed sage (Artemisia frigida) you see growing at the base (silvery green foliage around the pink stems).

For scale, the cluster was no more than four inches high.

There’s some ambiguity on the name (yes, I know, that could be the title for this entire series), but I’m leaning toward clustered rather than single-flowe broomrape. Evidently one way to determine which species is which is to uproot the plant and compare the relative length of the underground tuber compared to the stem. Even if I could find this plant again, I’d never t dig it up, so I’m calling it clustered broomrape and enjoying the heck out of the fact that I came across it.

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