Wildflowers - Prairie Broomrape
Prairie broomrape has a reputation full of contradictions. It is considered an endangered species in Wisconsin, and a threatened species in Illinois and Indiana. Alternately, it is considered a noxious weed in several states, including Florida and Minnesota, because species of broomrape parasitize tomatoes, peppers, beans, peas, sunflowers, and tobacco, reducing crop yields or totally destroying crops.
Prairie broomrape plants are rare at the park; one plant was documented in 2003, and another in 2006. Although this species may be treated as a noxious weed in some areas of the country, it continues to be preserved and protected within the boundary of Wind Cave National Park.
Did You Know?
Lewis and Clark, while on their journey up the Missouri River in 1804, noted that this "wild dog of the prairie...appears here in infinite numbers." More...