Notices for Users of the Albums

1. New Albums and some changes


The latest genera Albums added to the Operation Wildflower Site are the ones on Bauhinia, Cleretum and Manulea. This means that photos and stories of plants belonging to these genera already on the Site have been moved from the more general Albums called Trees, Mesembs and Herbs into their own new Albums under Genera. 


There is a genus Album in every case where enough material has been accumulated to warrant a stand-alone grouping of photos and stories. There are now more than 160 such Albums on genera of South African plants. The biggest ones (most photos) belong to the genera Crassula, Euphorbia, Pelargonium and Aloe. Keep watching, more will be added! If there is no genus Album yet on the plant you are looking for, check under Types or the Search Box.


In order to access all items on a plant of interest, the Search Box should be used, entering the botanical name of the plant. Most photos and stories on a particular plant are likely to be posted under Genera, (or if there are only few of them, in the conglomerate categories under Types). Habitat, Regions or Parks and Gardens may also contain some material on a species searched for, showing in the list generated when using the Search Box. The latest Parks and Gardens Album is the one on the Quiver Tree Forest.


2. Want to talk about an Album Item?


There is a new way of communicating with the Editor of this Site regarding any of the Album Items.
Comments, questions, corrections, information and suggestions can be put to the Editor by using the following email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Please ensure that the Album Item concerned is clearly identified. Type its exact title as well as the Album Name in the Subject Line of your email. Please also state your name.


Similarly, communication regarding the functioning or technical aspects of the Site can be directed to the Webmaster at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




Striga elegans

Botanical name

Striga elegans

Other names

Witchweed; rooiblom (Afrikaans); kopseerblom (Afrikaans)


Orobanchaceae, previously Scrophulariaceae


A small annual herb, a parasitic plant that grows on the roots of a large variety of grass species hosts; it typically grows to about 12 to 15 cm in height

Description of stem

Thin, erect, green stem, sometimes branched to a limited extent

Description of leaves

Linear or lanceolate, opposite or nearly so, about 1 cm in length; erect, course and hairy

Description of flowers

Terminal clusters of scarlet tubular flowers, about 1,5 cm in length, appear during summer to autumn; the flower tube is characteristically bent; the petals arranged with a somewhat smaller two or three-lobed upper section and a larger three lower lower section, the central lower lobe or lip being slightly longer; the calyx is prominently veined

Desciption of seed/fruit

Five-sided capsules; the seeds are fine, brown, dust-like

Description of roots

Attaches itself to the roots of a grass plant that functions as host


A pink flowered variety is known in the Magaliesberg and Suikerbosrand areas

Propagation and cultivation

Can't be done as yet?  Would anybody want to?  In nature the seeds germinate in close proximity to a suitable grass plant's roots (not more than a few mm), for the attachment to the root system to occur




Indigenous populations have been known to attempt warding off evil by applying the powdered plant to the skin; also used as protection against lightning

Ecological rarity


Pests and diseases



Other striga species, like S. asiatica, hermonthica and gesnerioides affect agricultural crops, but this one does not; the 28 striga species are indigenous to Africa and some to Asia


Open grassland

Distribution (SA provinces)

Free State; Gauteng; Mpumalanga; North West; Limpopo


South Africa; Lesotho; Swaziland; Botswana; Mozambique; Zimbabwe; Tanzania; Malawi; Angola; Zambia; Kenya; DRC


Some info from Wikipedia and









Who's Online

This week2880
This month47803

Botanical Gardens