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.
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.