I love the name of this plant. It sounds like a candy, that forms magically wherever a tear falls from the beech tree.
Once we leave the fantasy world, it's still true that they are found only under beech trees. But it has nothing to do with things dropping from the branches. What happens is that the plant is parasitic and requires beech roots to grow from.
I've come across several clumps of them in the past couple of weeks.
I never thought of looking for them in the winter. They "bloom" in August or September. However, against the snow, you can really see the shape.
Beechdrops, Epifagus americana, have no leaves, and no chlorophyll. These look dark brown, but even when they are fresh, they are a pinkish brown. Here's a closeup of the flowers (dried, of course).
Somewhere, I have pictures of some in the summer. If I ever come across them, or maybe see some fresh ones, you'll see it again!
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