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:

    • RED = 2020+
    • DARK BLUE = 2015-2019
    • LIGHT BLUE = pre 2015

    UK Map