Desert Broomrape

Orobanche cooperi

Orobanche cooperi

Color: Purple

Common name: Desert Broomrape, Cooper's Broom Rape

Latin name: Orobanche cooperi


Height: 4-16 inches

Orobanche cooperi

Description: This plant arises from a thick root and a scaly, twisted stem base and produces a thick, clumpy stem. As a parasite taking its nutrients from a host plant, it lacks leaves and chlorophyll. It is dark purple in color and coated with glandular hairs. The inflorescence is an elongated array of several flowers. Each flower is tubular, purple and hairy, and up to about 3 cm long.

Range: Desert

Habitat: Sandy flats, washes, on Asteraceae — weed on tomatoes, Sonoran Desert, in 1960s.

Elevation: < 500 m.

Flowering time: Jan–May

Notes: Orobanche cooperi, a dicot, is a perennial herb (parasitic) that is native to California and is found only slightly beyond California borders. O. cooperi is also classified by the California Department of Food and Agriculture as a Noxious Weed List A: Control action required by state agencies. This plant is found growing attached to the roots of other plants, usually members of the Asteraceae, such as Artemisia, Hymenoclea, Ambrosia and Encelia. This photo was taken on April 6, 2010 in the Cadiz area of San Bernardino County, California.

We have an online wildflower field guide that is designed to help you identify desert wildflowers by color, scientific name, region and common name. The pictures are sized to work on the iPod, iPhone, iPad and similar devices. With your iPod or phone you will easily be able to identify wildflowers while in the desert. Links for downloads are on the bottom of the Wildflower Field Guide page.

Photo tips: Most digital point-and-shoot cameras have a macro function - usually symbolized by the icon of a little flower. When you turn on that function, you allow your camera to get closer to the subject, looking into a flower for example. Or getting up close and personal with a bug. More on desert photography.

Mojave Desert Wildflowers - This book is the standard by which all other wildflower books are measured. The author, Jon Mark Stewart, has combined super photography with concise information. This book has an entire color page for each wildflower covered, with a discussion of the wildflower. 210 pages with 200 color photos. More...

What's Blooming Now - Check the Wildflower Reports


Share this page on Facebook:

DesertUSA Newsletter -- We send articles on hiking, camping and places to explore, as well as animals, wildflower reports, plant information and much more. Sign up below or read more about the DesertUSA newsletter here. (It's Free.)

The Desert Environment
The North American Deserts
Desert Geological Terms


Past Wildflower Season Videos
click on links below

2009 Wildflower Video

2006 Wildflower Season -
Click here to play.

2005 Wildflower Season -
Click here
to play

Mojave Desert Wildflowers Book
200 color photos

Wildflower Field Guide - find flowers by color

Purple & Blue Flowers

Pink, Red, & Orange Flowers

Yellow & Gold Flowers

White Flowers | Guide

wildflower seeds

Hot temperatures in the desertAre you interested in the temperatures in the desert?

Click here to see current desert temperatures!

Copyright © 1996-2020 and Digital West Media, Inc. - -