Broomrapes are parasitic seed plants like dodder and mistletoe. They are leafless herbs, of the family Orobanchaceae, living on roots of other plants and arising from them in clumps of whitish, yellowish, brownish, or purplish stems. There are 130 or more species, mostly from North Temperate regions, but few have any garden importance. The seed germinates in soil and produces a filiform plant body that grows into the ground penetrating crown or root of the host plant and forming a more or less tuberous enlargement, from which the flowering shoots arise. Such shoots may be nearly naked, clothed only with a few scattered rudimentary leaves, or they may be covered with conspicuous, overlapping scalelike leaves. The seed may remain viable in the soil several years but probably not as long as has been believed, for they can live on some weeds between crops.