Earlier this summer we ran across a peculiar plant making its way up through the earth in the forest. A strange striped asparagus? No Woodland Pinedrops: Pterospora andromeda.
According to Wikipedia “Like all members of the Monotriopoidiae , Pterospora andromedea lacks chlorophyll (trace amounts have been identified, but not enough to provide energy for the plant or to color it. Plants exist for most of their life as a mass of brittle, but fleshy, roots. They live in a parasitic relationship with mycorrhizal fungi, in which plants derive all their carbon from their associated fungus, but the relationship is not yet well understood.”
Now that summer has passed and fall is in the air the plant looks like this.
Somewhat like a small tree full of small pumpkins decorating the autumn forest.