Flower of the Day: Squawroot

Conopholis americana; Orobanchaceae (broom-rape family)

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This weird looking thing is the inflorescence of a parasitic plant that otherwise lives underground, gathering nutrients from the roots of the oak trees to which it’s attached.  Lacking chlorophyll, the plant does not engage in photosynthesis.

There are several saprophytic plants found in this area.  I’ve yet to see beechdrops, but I’ll be on the hunt for Indianpipe over the next two weeks.

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