Successful Culture of the Rare Annual Hemiparasite Tomanthera auriculata (Michx.) Raf. (Scrophulariaceae)


Maureen Cunningham

Additional Authors:

Patricia D. Parr


December – 1990


Culture, Hemiparasite, Tomanthera auriculata, Scrophulariaceae, Rudbeckia fulgida, Helianthus occidentalis

<em>Tomanthera auriculata</em> (Michx.) Raf., an annual member of the Scrophulariaceae, is a rare species reported to be hemiparasitic. The species is currently under review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for possible listing as a federally threatened or endangered species. In greenhouse culture two of eight potential host species (<em>Rudbeckia fulgida</em> Ait. and <em>Helianthus occidentalis</em> Riddell) proved to be suitable hosts; <em>Tomanthera auriculata</em> seedlings in flats with these species grew to maturity, flowered, and produced viable seed. Photographs were taken to document the presence of haustoria on the roots of <em>T. auriculata</em>. This first reported success of culturing this species with selected hosts under greenhouse conditions is significant for recovery efforts and management of the species.