Parasitic plants, particularly ones with large and colouful flowers, are always a cause of curiosity from the casual observer, and are generally uncommon enough to exite field botanists. For many years there were numerous flower spikes of Orobanche minor on the Brachyglottis ‘Sunshine’ plants in the Chemistry Department car park on Whiteknights campus. However the Brachyglottis plants became moribund and were removed so I thought we had lost the Orobanche from the area.
Later that year I noticed O. minor on Brachyglottis ‘Sunshine’ in the car park of the local ASDA store, only 5 minutes drive away, and again this was a good sized population.
In 2014 I was delighted to see that plantings of Brachyglottis monroi next to the Hopkins Building (completed 2008) had gained a good population of Orobanche minor, and this has appeared in greater abundance in 2015 and again this year. One of the flower spikes in 2015 was albino but this did not reappear in 2016.