What Do You Call Plants That Don't Have Chlorophyll?

call-plants-don-t-chlorophyll Credit: jacinta lluch valero/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

The two main types of plants that are naturally without chlorophyll are called the Dodders (Cuscuta) and Broomrape (Orobanche). Some other plants don’t make enough chlorophyll due to a condition called chlorosis.

Broomrape and the Dodders simply don’t make chlorophyll by nature. Without chlorophyll in their tissues, they cannot make their own food. They live as parasites, stealing their food from other plant hosts.

Broomrape attaches itself to the roots of clover plants, whereas the Dodders survive by living on clover, hop and nettles.

Because chlorophyll is what gives plants their color, plants without chlorophyll are usually not green. Instead, plants with chlorosis are often yellowish white or pale yellow.