The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Appalachian Excursion in 2005!

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Root parasite:
This group of pineconish growths are the inflorescences of Conopholis americana. They may look fungal, but in truth they are produced by a plant that spends most of its time underground as a parasite on the roots of trees. Weird, huh? These have just emerged from the soft ground...give them a few days and flowers squirt out from behind those scales: Then they will look like this.

People have given this cool plant the unfortunate name of "cancer root." Unpleasant, yes, but not as bad (in my opinion) as the plant name "finger-rot", or my all-time favorite ugly-plant-name, "broom-rape" (which is just wrong!).

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Revised: October 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005