Hyobanche sanguinea, Hyobanche coccinea, Snail Flower, Cat's Claw, Ink Flower

Hyobanche sanguinea, Hyobanche coccinea

Snail Flower, Cat's Claw, Ink Flower
Family: Orobanchaceae
Origin: South Africa
Small plant 2-5 ftFull sunDry conditionsRed, crimson, vinous flowers

South African endemic.

Hyobanche sanguinea is a type of holoparasite, thus meaning that unlike other plants it does not photosynthesise for its food. Instead it attaches itself to the roots of other plants, in order to draw water and nutrients from its hosts. It also doesn't have any roots. Instead it has a long fleshy organ known as a haustorium, used to attach itself to the host plant and transfer nutrients. This can grow up to two metres in length on its hunt to find an appropriate host plant.

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