Plants photographed on Kyffhäuser
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Alectra orobanchoides Benth.


Alectra orobanchoides

Habit with flowers



Family: Scrophulariaceae
Full name: Alectra orobanchoides Benth.
Location: Kyffhäuser (2416AD + 2416CB)
ID status: ID not 100% certain
Afrikaans common name(s): Verfblommetjie
English common name(s): Kirk's tobacco witchweed
Synonym(s): Alectra heyniae (Dinter) Dinter
Alectra kilimandjarica Hemsl.
Alectra kirkii Hemsl.
Alectra parvifolia (Engl.) Schinz
Alectra welwitschii (Hiern) Hemsl. accepted by FSA
Celsia parvifolia Engl.
Melasma orobanchoides (Benth.) Engl.
Melasma parviflorum K.Schum.
Melasma welwitschii Hiern
Nigrina orobanchoides (Benth.) Kuntze
Orobanche heyniae Dinter
Orobanche parviflora E.Mey. ex Steud.
Status: Native
Description: Erect hemiparasitic herb, up to 45 cm tall. Stems branching near the base, often blackish or purple-red and fleshy. Leaves small, usually less than 1 cm long, appressed and scale-like or spreading near the inflorescences, lanceolate-oblong to ovate-oblong. Flowers in the axils of leaves or leaf-like bracts, together forming a spike-like inflorescence, yellow to orange, often with dark purple-red lines. (from Flora of Zimbabwe website)

Annual herb 8–45 cm high; stems often dark crimson to purple-red, erect, simple, but with several branches arising from near the base, terete with ridges, puberulous to glabrous; roots and basal part of stem orange. Leaves opposite or alternate, sessile, somewhat reduced, embracing the stem or spreading, ovate-lanceolate to lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, 4–10(–15) mm long, 2–5(–7) mm wide, base shortly cuneate, apex acute to obtuse, margins entire to shortly toothed, puberulous to hispid to hispid-scabrid on both surfaces, the larger leaves with 5 veins, obscure in smaller leaves. Inflorescence of terminal racemes, flowers solitary in the axils of leaf-like bracts, usually in the upper half of stems, but also whole stem floriferous; bracts lanceolate to linear-oblong, 3–6 mm long, entire; bracteoles linear, 2–5 mm, acute, shortly ciliate, hispid; pedicels 2.5–3 mm, puberulous. Calyx campanulate, 4–6 mm long, veins clear, puberulous to hispid; lobes purple tinged, triangular, 2–3 mm, obtuse, ciliate. Corolla yellow to orange with red-brown to purple veins, 8–12 mm long, lobed above with subequal rounded lobes, lobes often thickened on the margins, scabrid. Stamens unequal; filaments hairy; anthers not apiculate. Capsule ovoid to subglobose, 4.5–6(–9) mm long, 3–6 mm in diameter, glabrous. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora of Tropical East Africa)

Erect herb, 10–45 cm tall; stems branched from or near to base, or simple, shortly hispid-pubescent to subglabrous, rarely not drying black. Leaves 3.5–9(13) x (1)1.5–2 mm, appressed to subappressed or spreading, opposite or alternate, lanceolate, lanceolate-oblong to ovate-oblong, acute or obtuse, entire to crenate or remotely shortly toothed, sessile throughout, hispid or hispid-scabrid. Flowers solitary in axils of leaves or leaf-like bracts, pedicellate; pedicels 1–1.5 mm long. Bracts leaf-like 3–6.5 x 1–2 mm, linear to oblong, hispid-pubescent. Bracteoles 2–4(5) x 0.25–1 mm, linear to filiform, shortly ciliate to glabrous. Calyx 4–6(7) mm long, shortly hispid; lobes 1.5–2(3) mm long, broadly triangular, obtuse, margin frequently thickened and scabrid. Corolla yellow to orange, dark purple striated, longer than calyx, lobes rounded. Stamens unequal; filaments slightly to heavily bearded; anthers obtuse, not apiculate. Capsule 4–6.5(9) x 3.25–6 mm, broadly ovoid to subglobose, glabrous. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora Zambesiaca)

A puberulous herb, erect or ascending, more or less branched from the base upwards or rarely simple, annual, parasitical, dusky when dry, 2–24 in. high; stems and branches angular, smooth or scabrid; leaves scale-like, opposite, subopposite, alternate or scattered, oval or elliptic, or the upper sublanceolate, mostly obtuse, not much narrowed at the sessile base, scabrid-puberulous, 1/8– 3/5 in. long, 1/15– 1/6 in. broad, entire or occasionally sparingly toothed, mostly shorter than the internodes; flowers spicate and in the axils of the upper leaves, numerous, orange-yellow, very shortly pedicellate, 1/4– 3/8 in. long; bracteoles narrow, puberulous, 1/8– 1/6 in. long; calyx loosely campanulate, shortly pubescent outside, glabrous inside, 5-cleft, 1/6– 1/4 in. long in flower or rather more in fruit; lobes deltoid or triangular-ovate, 1/12– 1/8 in. long, not acuminate; corolla veined, orange-red or deep or dull yellow, slightly marbled with brown; stamens 4, subequal, nearly glabrous or pilose; anther-cells more or less pointed but not tailed at the lower end; capsules subglobose, glabrous, 1/6– 1/5 in. in diam. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora Capensis)

Erect holoparasitic plants (4.4) 6-49 (63) cm tall; stems 2-7.5 (12) mm in diameter at the base, glabrescent to hispid, scabrid, simple to many branched, branches arising from the base or along the stem into the inflorescence. Leaves scale-like, 5-9 (18) mm long, (0.9) 1.5-3 (14) mm wide, orbicular to elliptic to oblong, subopposite to alternate, truncate to cuneate at the base, rounded to acute at the apex, entire or occasionally with 1-2 pairs of teeth, sessile. Inflorescence a dense to loose raceme; floral bracts (2) 6-8.5 (12) mm long, 1-2 (3.1) mm wide, linear to elliptic. Pedicels (0.9) 1.5-3 mm, hispid. Bracteoles (3) 4-6 mm long, 0.5-0.7 mm wide, entire, hispid, arising at the base of the calyx, occasionally up to 1 mm below the calyx. Calyx campanulate (3) 6-7.5 (10) mm long, hispid; lobes (2) 2.6-3 mm long, 2-3.2 mm wide, triangular. Corolla 7-11 (15) mm long, pale to deep yellow; lobes 4.5-5.5 mm long, 2-3 mm wide, rounded. Stamens didynamous, the longer pair (3.2) 4.5-5.5 mm long, bearded or glabrous, the shorter pair (0.5) 1.5-4.5 mm long, bearded or glabrous; thecae unequal, base rounded to acute, not apiculate. Style (1.5) 3-5 mm long, stigma clavate, recurved. Ovary 2-2.8 (3.1) mm in diameter; capsule 3-10 mm in diameter, globose, ovoid or pyriform. (from Systematics of Alectra (Orobanchaceae) and phylogenetic relationships among the tropical clade of Orobanchaceae, PhD thesis, Morawetz, 2007)
Link(s) African Plant Database
JSTOR Plant Science
Kew Herbarium Catalogue
BGBM Berlin-Dahlem - Virtual Herbarium
Züricher Herbarien
iNaturalist (Namibia / Alex Dreyer)
iNaturalist (Namibia)
iNaturalist (southern Africa)
Flora of Zimbabwe
Fleurs de notre Terre - Galerie Namibie
Tree Atlas of Namibia
Photographer: AA Dreyer
Date of photograph: 05 Apr 2009
Camera make: Canon
Camera model: PowerShot A700
Lens aperture: f/4.0
Shutter speed: 1/100 s
ISO speed: -
Content last updated: 18 Apr 2024


Note: The identification of some of the plants on this website is not 100% certain. Any comments will be highly appreciated. I would also be willing to supply higher resolution images upon request. Please contact me at the e-mail address given below.

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