Example of Total Root Parasites

Orobanche, Rafflesia,  Cistanche and Striga are common examples of total root parasites.


Balanophora dioica
Orobanche cernui of family Orobanchaceae sucks its nutrients from the roots of the host and commonly attacks the plants belonging to the families Cruciferae and Solanceae like mustard, Cabbage, tomato, Brinjal etc.

Balanophora dioica, is found growing as root parasite on plants of tropical and subtropical forests in India. The plant is represented by leafless inflorescence.

Rafflesia, is another root parasite, is found in Sumantra, Borneo and Indonesia, Rafflesia arnoldii is known as queen of parasites which grows on members of family Vitaceae. This parasites develops the biggest flower of the plant kingdom which is about a metre in diameter and weighing about 8kg.

Cistanche is small leafless plant of about 1.5 feet high and is is commonly found parasitic on the roots of Calotropis in plains.

Striga is a parasite which attacks the roots of sugarcane.

Aeginetia, Lathrea, Cistanche, Sapria are also total root parasites.
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