A Mystery guest in the garden

I was watering a few plants that i replanted in early spring when suddenly I noticed this odd looking plant. I am familiar with broomrapes as my parents had a few in their garden called Orobanche purpurea growing on yarrow.

As I have quite a bit of Ivy growing in the garden, and looking on the internet I am pretty sure this one is the wonderful Ivy Broomrape or Orobanche hederae.Orobanche hederae

It is a fascinating plant as it is a parasite so there is no need for any chlorophyll. All the nutrition it needs comes from the roots of the Ivy plant. It attaches itself and forms underground roots.

I forgot all about this plant of which I did receive seeds more than a year ago. They must have been dormant and now some flowering shoots have emerged with spikes of flowers. A very unusual plant but a lovely addition to the wildlife garden.


It is a rare plant in the Netherlands but expanding its range in urban areas it seems. However, it is a Red List species here so all the more reason to be happy having this one in the garden.


About mybiodiversitygarden

Trying to raise awareness & share information about ecology and biodiversity and what gardeners can do to attract more wildlife
This entry was posted in biodiversity, Gardening, Gardening for wildlife, Nature, wild flowers and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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