Phelipaea indica (Buch.-Ham.) G. Don
Annual, usually glandular-pubescent, (10-)20-50 cm tall, often regularly and branched from below with elongated branches. Scales distant, 5-15 mm long, lanceolate, thickish, pubescent to glabrescent. Spikes lax, with lower flowers distant and subsessile, up to 25 cm long, hardly or not tapering above. Bracts lanceolate to ovate-oblong, hardly reaching the size of calyx, ± similar to scales. Bracteoles linear, shorter than calyx. Calyx 8-14 mm long, campanulate, more dissected dorsally, 4(-5)-toothed, with teeth ± as long as the tube, pubescent. Corolla usually 20-35 mm long, pubescent out-side, infundibuliform, ± whitish below and blue or lilac above; tube slightly curved and broader above, constricted below the middle and at the insertion point of stamens; upper lip short, 2-lobed, erect; lower lip ± equally 3-lobed with rounded or subrounded lobes; margins very minutely denticulate to almost entire. Staminal filaments ± pubescent at base; anthers cells woolly along the sutures. Stigma with 2, semiorbicular lobes. Capsule c. 10 mm long, oblong to subspheroid, acuminate, glabrous; seeds c. 0.7 mm long, subglobose to broadly ovoid, reticulate.
Type: Egypt, Herb. de Candolle..
Distribution: N. Africa, Arabia, Mediterranean region to Pakistan and Himalayas.
A variable species in flower size and form, pubescence and stature. Smaller flowered forms have often been confused with Orobanche ramosa L., but the different branching habit, and the very shallowly lobed, almost straight corolla are distinctive. Branching is irregular and unequal, fairly distant with corolla c. 15 mm long in true Orobanche ramosa. Hooker f. (l.c.) has rightly pointed out the close relationship between his ‘Orobanche ramosa’ and Orobanche indica Buch-Ham. ex Roxb. which is conspecific with Orobanche aegyptiacaPers.
It is used to cure boils in the throat of cattle; like Cistanche, this is also used to stop diarrhoea.