Distribution and Host Range of Parasitic Flowering Plants of Saudi Arabia. A Review


  • Awad F. Farah Department of Biology, Faculty of Education, Sirte University, Sirte, Libya
  • Mohamed A. Al-Abdulsalam Department of Crop Production and Range, College of Agricultural and Food Sciences, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia


Parasitic flowering plants, Distribution, Host range Phytogeographic regions, Saudi Arabia


Distribution and host range of more than thirty species and infraspecific taxa of parasitic flowering plants belonging to seven families in six phytogeographical regions of Saudi Arabia are reviewed. Most of these parasitic flowering plants specially members of Loranthaceae, Orobanchaceae and Scrophulariaceae are confined to the Southern Region. None of the studied parasitic flowering plants were found to occur in the Empty Quarter (Al-Rub Al-khali desert) with the exception of the root parasite Cistanche phelypaea (Orobanchaceae), which was found parasitizing the perennial members of Chenopodiaceae and Zygophyllaceae.


Abulfatih,H.A. (1984).Wild plants from Abha and the surrounding Areas. Saudi publishing and distributing House, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Al-Farhan, A.H. (1994). Taxonomic revision of the genus Cuscuta L. in Saudi Arabia. Arab Gulf Journal of Scientific Research. 12 : 99-107

Airy Shaw,H.K. (1966). A Dictionary of the Flowering Plants and Ferns. Cambridge University Press.Cambridge,U.K.

Blatter,E. (1921). Flora Arabia 111. Records of the Botanical of India. 8(3): 330-423.

Collenette,S. (1985). An ILLustrated Gide to the Flowers of Saudi Arabia. Essex Scopion Publishing Ltd., Victoria House. U.K.

Al-Arosi,H. and H.A. Abo- Blan (1978). Host range of the dodder Cuscuta campestris At Riyadh Region. College of Agricultural Research Bulletin. Riyadh University 3: 167-178.

Farah, A.F. (1983). Cistanche and Cynomorium in saudi Arabia. Haustorium, Parasitic Plants Newsletter. 11:2.

Farah, A.F. (1987). Some ecological aspects of Cistanche phelypaea (L.)Cout. (Orobanchaceae) in al-Ahsa Oasis, Saudi Arabia.pp: 187-196. In: H.C.

Weber and W. Forsteuter(eds.).Parasitic Flowering Plants.Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Parasitic Flowering Plants. Philipps University, Marburg,F.R.G.

Farah, A.F. (1995). Parasitic Flowering Plants(a book in arabic). The New National House for Publishing and Distribution. Al-Khubar, Saudi Arabia.

Farah,A.F. and M.A. Alabdulsalam (2004). Effect of field dodder (Cuscuta campestris Yuncker) on some legume crops. Scientific Journal of King Faisal University.5(1):87-96.

Farah,A.F. and F. N.Al-Subaie (2006).Ecological Studies on Tha- noun ( Cistanche phelypaea L. Cout, Orobanchaceae) in Al-Ahsa Oasis, Saudi Arabia. Scientific Journal of King Faisal University. 7 (1):75-86.

Gadri,A. and Y. Magrabi (1980). Studies on some higher plants parasitic on trees of Saudi Arabia. Proceedings of Saudi Biological Society. 3:26-47.

Migahid,A.M.(1978). Flora of Saudi Arabia. King Saud University Publications. Riyadh, K.S.A.

Ministry of Agriculture (2009). The Agricultural Magazine, Ministry of Agriculture, Southern Province,K.S.A.

Nageib,M.A. and A.A. Kadous (1984). Control of dodder (Cuscuta campestris Yuncker) on citrus and alfalfa in Al-Ahsa using round up. Proceedings of Saudi Biological Society. 7: 26-47.

Zahran,M.A. (1983). Introduction to Plant Ecology and Vegetation Types of Saudi Arabia. Scientific Council, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah,K.S.A.