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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Beechdrops

 
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.

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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).

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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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6 comments:

Ratty said...

These sound more like the parasitic monsters of the fantasy world. Beware, children, or the beechdrops will grow from your roots!

rainfield61 said...

They are tough, these beechdrops.

They grow wherever a tear falls from the beech tree.

Can we?

Don't unplug your hub said...

Always something to learn. I wonder if they grow under our beech trees too. S'pose I'd better have a look next time I'm in the beech wood.

vanilla said...

I never heard of these. Amazing, the things I learn from you!

Ann said...

I learned something new again. I never heard of these before. How interesting

Sharkbytes said...

Ratty- there are lots of interesting parasitic monsters out there!

rainfield- if we have something to grow on we thrive- but it may be hard on the other

John- I think you have a different species, but a similar one

vanilla- I'm sure you can find them if you have beech trees

Ann- keep your eyes open!

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