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Pterospora andromedea Nutt.
Woodland Pinedrops, Pinedrops
Monotropaceae (Indian Pipe Family)
USDA Symbol: PTAN2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
A monotypic genus, Pterospora is achlorophyllous and mycoheterotrophic; that is, it utilizes ectomycorrhizal fungi of the genus, Rhizopogon to obtain carbon from the roots of coniferous trees.
The stiffly erect, leafless stems of this reddish-brown plant often grow in clusters, and are covered with glandular hairs. Pale yellowish-brown egg-shaped flowers hang in a long raceme.
Stems grow for only one year, but remain as dried stalks for several years. The genus name, from Greek words for "winged seeds," refers to the net-like wing at one end of each minute seed that carries it to a new site as it is sprinkled from the capsule.
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow , Brown
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: AZ , CA , CO , ID , MI , MT , NE , NH , NM , NV , NY , OR , SD , TX , UT , VT , WA , WI , WY
Canada: NB , PE
Native Distribution: Alaska south throughout West to northern Mexico; also from southeastern Canada to northeastern United States.
Native Habitat: Deep humus of coniferous forests; in the West especially common under ponderosa pine.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Weird-looking rootless plant, perhaps a fungus
August 23, 2008
While out it my backyard (i.e. the Black Hills of South Dakota), I spotted a weird-looking rootless plant (I think it may be a fungus) growing beneath the Ponderosa Pines. It was the only one in the a...
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Pterospora andromedea in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Pterospora andromedea in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Pterospora andromedea
MetadataRecord Modified: 2018-11-14
Research By: TWC Staff