from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various parasitic herbs of the genus Orobanche, having purplish or yellowish flowers and small scalelike leaves that lack chlorophyll. Broomrape grows on the roots of various plants.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various plants, of the genus Orobanche, that are parasitic on the roots of other plants


Translation of Medieval Latin rāpum genistae : Latin rāpum, underground stock of a tree + Latin genistae, genitive of genista, broom (from the growth of these tubers on the roots of broom).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
broom +‎ rape (Wiktionary)



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  • a large genus of parasitic herbs (orobanche), which attach themselves to the roots of broom, furze, clover, and other leguminous plants, having a brownish-yellow leafless fleshy stem furnished with pointed scales or bracts. the name was first applied to o. major, the rapum genistæ of lobel and other early herbalists

    June 10, 2009

  • Right here, madmouth. But never fear--bilby has posted it on your behalf. :-)

    June 8, 2009

  • a lovely purple flower. someone point me to the "Better than they sound" list; I can't find it.

    June 8, 2009