Purple Toothwort - Lathraea clandestina

Description

Low parasitic plant The stem is subterranean, branched, whitish yellow forming tufts at the soil surface. Scale leaves are kidney shaped clasping the stem. Flowers are violet with a reddish purple lower lip 40 to 50 mm long borne in small clusters. Upper lip of the corolla is hooded.

Identification difficulty
Habitat

Woodland, coppices and other damp shady places where the host trees are found.

When to see it

Flowers April to June.

Life History

Perennial that is parasitic on the roots of various tree species, especially Alder, Poplar and Willow.

UK Status

Occasional but widespread in Britain.

VC55 Status

Rare in Leicestershire and Rutland. It was not recorded in the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

MAP KEY:

Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map