It is a species of broomrape known by the common name thistle broomrape. It is a parasitic plant whose host is normally the creeping thistle. It is native to the lowlands of Western Europe and Central Asia, but in the United Kingdom it is a rare and protected plant, growing only in Yorkshire, on grassland sites such as Quarry Moor.
Orobanche reticulata was described by taxonomist Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Wallroth (Wallr.) in 1825. Its usual host plant is creeping thistle. It is a herbaceous and self-supporting plant with simple broad, scale-like leaves, normally growing up to 70 centimetres (28 in), and it flowers between May and July. It is a tuberous perennial, a hermaphrodite plant which possibly germinates in the spring. It has a yellow-purple stem. The two-lipped flowers, measuring 15–25 mm (0.6–1 inch), have dark spots and purple stigmas. However, for full identification, the host must be noted.
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