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Manitoba Museum

Broomrape (Orobanchaceae)

Gattinger's Agalinis

Agalinis gattingeri (Small) Small ex Britt.

Gattinger’s Agalinis relies on other plants for some of its nutrients. It “steals” nutrients and water, by sending out specialized roots (haustoria) that pierce the roots of host plants (usually other flowering plants). This species is protected in Canada as populations are rare due to habitat loss and human encroachment on that habitat. Its seeds need to be close to the roots of a host plant before it will germinate.

Flower Colour:

  • Pink

Flowering Season:

  • Summer
  • Fall

Flowering Months:

  • August
  • September

Canadian Rarity Status:

Protected under Canada’s Species at Risk Act, Manitoba’s Endangered Species Act and Ontario’s Endangered Species Act. The collection of wild plants and seeds is illegal on public lands.

Physical Appearance:

Gattinger’s Agalinis can grow to 60 cm tall annually, but may only reach 8-20 cm in Manitoba. It has a slender stem with few to several branches and long, narrow leaves. Its numerous, bell-shaped flowers are pink with two yellow lines and many red spots. When visiting these flowers, insect pollinators use the lines and spots to guide it towards the plant’s nectar.

Similar Species:

Rough Agalinis

Gardening Notes:

Do not purchase wild-collected seeds or plants.

Canadian Distribution:

  • Manitoba
  • Ontario

Prairie Types:

  • Tall Grass Prairie


  • Alvars
  • Forests
  • Parklands
  • Remnant Prairies
  • Roadsides

Moisture Conditions:

  • Dry

Light Preference:

  • Full Sun

Soil Preference:

  • Calcareous
  • Sand
Gattinger's Agalinis