Pine Drop
-- This is a mature specimen - what we see here is the fruit

Also called: Albany beechdrops, or giant bird's nest
Scientific name: Pterospora andromedea

Seen on Hike to Romana Falls 8/20/13

--- Scroll down for more pictures---

There are no basal leaves,
but there are small leaves on the stem

What we see here is the fruit
The fruits are five-celled woody capsules

The inflorescences are hairy and noticeably sticky to the touch.
This is caused by the presence of hairs which exude a sticky substance (glandular hairs).

The inflorescences are covered by scale-like structures known as bracts. The upper portion of the inflorescence has a series of yellowish, urn-shaped flowers that face downward.

Like all members of the Monotriopoidiae (see Monotropa), Pterospora andromedea lacks chlorophyll. 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.

The term for this kind of symbiosis is mycoheterotrophy (from wikipedia - also in evernote)

Interestingly Pinedrops grow in old growth pine forest. However, if a pine forest clear cut and replanted they do not grow because the required fungus has been destroyed. (from www, and in my evernote)

In this picture,
the leaves on the stem are more clearly visable

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