Jan. 5, 2021

pinesap, Hypopitys monotropa

You're looking at genuine flowers on this pinesap. The rest of it is very confusing. The references I've checked all agree that those flowers are attached to adventive roots. These plants have no stems. Or leaves. Or chlorophyll. Just roots and flowers. They are nourished by fungi. In turn, the fungi attach to tree roots, mostly pine. Although the only one I've seen around here was under oak (and reading farther, that's not unusual). This not entirely attractive plant has gathered little lore. BRIT does say it was used in a love potion by the Kwakiutl people. Pinesap grows in all states and provinces except HI, ND, NV, SD, LB, NT, NU, and YT, and is on SPM; also in Eurasia and as far south as Guatemala. Endangered in FL, threatened in IA. Baraga Co MI, 7/13/14. Heath family, Ericaceae.