Buchnera americana, commonly known as American Bluehearts, is a species in the Broomrape (Orobanchaceae) family. It is found in prairies, glades, moist areas, wet depressions, and open woods. It favors high quality habitats.
It is found in widely scattered counties across Arkansas. Outside of Arkansas it is found in the south-central states, along the Gulf and southern Atlantic Coasts and in Florida.
American Bluehearts are hemi-parasites. They are able to parasitize a wide variety of woody and non-woody plants or none if necessary. We know they can parasitize a range of trees, from oaks to pines to cottonwoods.
Bloom time is summer and early to mid fall in Arkansas. The species is fire-dependent for seed germination and growth.
Article and photographs by ANPS member Eric Hunt