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A picture of a Purple Toothwort

Purple Toothwort

Lathraea clandestina

Also known as

Blue Toothwort, Clandestine

Lathraea clandestina neons-sur-creuse 36 11052008 5 by Olivier Pichard (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Partial Shade
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

More images of Purple Toothwort

A close up of some purple Lathraea clandestina flowers
A bunch of purple Lathraea clandestina flowers
A close up of some purple Lathraea clandestina flowers in a garden
A photo of Purple Toothwort
A photo of Purple Toothwort

Purple Toothwort Overview

Lathraea clandestina is a parasitic perennial plant from the Orobanchaceae family. It is commonly known by the name Purple Toothwort after the pretty purple, sometimes pinkish flowers. This species is native to Belgium, France, Italy and Spain, it has also been introduced to Great Britain. It grows on the roots of a range of host plants, often Populus (Poplar) and Salix (Willow) species. It completely lacks chlorophyll and thus doesn't produce true leaves or photosynthesise. Often found in damp woodland environments, it can parasitise a variety of garden ornamental trees and shrubs including those in the genera Acer, Alnus, Buxus, Carpinus, Corylus, Juglans, Metasequoia, Rhododendron, Taxus and Gunnera.

How to propagate Purple Toothwort


Seed when fresh in late summer.

Special features of Purple Toothwort

Attractive flowers