The blood-red summer root (Orobanche gracilis) is a species of the genus of summer root (Orobanche) and belongs to the family of summer root plants (Orobanchaceae). It is also known as the slim summer root or the dainty summer root.
The biennial holoparasite reaches heights of 10 to 60 centimeters.
It is parasitic on various Fabaceae family plants such as Onobrychis (Sainfoins), Cytisus (Brooms) and as in this case, Lotus (Bird's-foot Trefoils) and Hippocrepis (Horseshoe Vetches) which were common in the meadow although not shown in the photograph. It varies in colour from brown to yellow and even to a reddish tint.
The simple stem is brownish, yellowish or reddish and usually has fewer than 15 scale leaves. The flowers, with a clove-like scent, are in dense clusters. The crown is glossy, cloudy, blood-red on the inside and yellow on the outside, red (brown) towards the edge. The yellow scar has a purple-brown border. The stamens are glandular above. The style is hairy glandular.
Flowering time is from May to August (rarely until October). It can be invasive in Europe.
This plant might be poisonous
How to get rid of:
Hand weeding – In addition to using your hands, there are a number of essential gardening tools you can use to make weed removal easier. Check garden beds regularly and attack the weeds when they’re small and easy to remove. When removing large weeds, watch for seed heads and only add to your compost if it gets hot enough to destroy them.