Pinedrops (Pterospora andromedea)

Family:  Heath (Ericaceae)

Pinedrops may look like a Seussian Christmas tree, but it's actually a sort of cannibal zombie monster inhabiting the nether world between plants and mushrooms, oblivious to the sun and gathering its nutrition from fungi that break down the rotting remnants of more conventional flowers. Take soylent green and kick it up a notch, and you've got Pinedrops.

Blooms:  June - August

Lifespan:  Perennial

Origins:  Native (see distribution maps for California and US/Canada)

Pterospora andromedea etymology:  Pterospora is a Greek term meaning "winged seed". The seeds have tiny translucent sails attached to them that allow them to drift with the wind and see a bit of the world before they settle down and put down roots. has a photo. [1] [2]

This Photo:  Along the Wawona Meadow trail, early July

Other Resources:   CalFlora  ·  CalPhotos  ·  USDA  ·  ·  Wikipedia  ·  US Forest Service  ·  Botanical Society of America

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