One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A parasitic plant that bears tubular flowers on a leafless brown stem. It is attached by its tubers to the roots of a host plant, which may be any of a number of species.
- ‘So far, U.S. sunflower growers have not been plagued by broomrape.’
- ‘The broomrapes (Orobanche spp.) are obligate parasitic weeds that cause severe damage to hosts.’
- ‘Likewise, the subtree of broomrapes alone does not differ from that of photosynthetic plants in degree of constraint.’
Late 16th century: from broom + Latin rapum ‘tuber’.
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