Orobanche Cumana is a parasitic plant of the sunflower which fixes on the roots and drains water and nutriments initially absorbed by sunflower. There are 250 species of broomrape, but only Orobanche Cumana attacks sunflower. The features that make this parasite so invading:
- Small seeds: 0.2-0.3 mm (TKW = 3.3 mg)
- Spreading by wind, water, men, agricultural equipment, animals…
- 100,000 to 1 million seeds produced by one plant
- Seeds viability in soil: more than 10 year
- Rapid development to new strains more and more aggressive.
Orobanche Cumana appeared in the Mediterranean Basin and had been causing damages for over 50 years in huge oilseed production areas: Spain, Turkey, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, etc.
Orobanche Cumana was detected for the first time in Romania in 1960. This parasite mutates constantly. After A to E races, race F appeared in 1995 in Romania and spread in Spain and Ukraine causing significant damages for sunflower crop.
From 2005 the new G strain appeared and today we can observe spots of even more aggressive strains in some regions especially Romania, Turkey and Russia …