Pinedrops:

Pinedrops:

Joined: December 13th, 2010, 12:45 am

June 28th, 2012, 7:35 pm #1

Guys-- I found a Pinedrops (pterospora andomedea) right alongside the Iron Horse trail. Check it out. It's a bright-red, non-photosynthetic mycoheterotroph-- a very strange forest critter. It's on the north side of the trail, 6.9 miles down from the western terminus of the Snoqualmie Tunnel and 4.1 miles up from the Garcia Road. It's just west of a huge, moss-covered talus slope. Check it out.

Mikey
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

June 29th, 2012, 5:23 am #2

Huh?
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Joined: January 22nd, 2004, 5:07 pm

June 29th, 2012, 1:30 pm #3

Guys-- I found a Pinedrops (pterospora andomedea) right alongside the Iron Horse trail. Check it out. It's a bright-red, non-photosynthetic mycoheterotroph-- a very strange forest critter. It's on the north side of the trail, 6.9 miles down from the western terminus of the Snoqualmie Tunnel and 4.1 miles up from the Garcia Road. It's just west of a huge, moss-covered talus slope. Check it out.

Mikey
Just Googled the image. Odd but cool.

But still, I can't wait till it gets snowed on.
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Barb Quirie
Barb Quirie

June 29th, 2012, 4:25 pm #4

We see them a lot as we hike up the old #17 mtn. bike trail that extends from the Crossovers and up and a few people on Innsbruck have them in their yards--also I've seen them in the woods as I ride my bike out to the spray fields toward the Mill Creek bridge--it is also known as candy stick, barber's pole, and sugar stick (botanical name: Allotropa virgata)--They lack green leaves and feed on decaying vegetation. It is a saprophyte--common west of the Cascades and also on the eastern slope--blooms June to Aug. 'neath ponderosa pine and Doug. fir.
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Rick
Rick

June 30th, 2012, 10:34 pm #5

I just did some more reading on this because I've seen the same sort of plant around Hyak, and I had identified (or misidentified) it as western coralroot. It turns out that coralroot, pinedrops, and candystick are each entirely different species. They're all chlorophyll-free plants that rely on the presence of specific fungus in the soil for their nutrition. Pinedrops and candystick are both members of the blueberry/heath family, but coralroot is an orchid.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pterospora

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corallorhiza_mertensiana

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allotropa
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Joined: December 13th, 2010, 12:45 am

June 30th, 2012, 10:53 pm #6

Rick, thanks for posting, I think you're absolutely correct on all three IDs.

The plant I saw is a Pinedrops, just barely sprouted. I'll keep an eye on it as the summer progresses and photograph it when it gets older. I originally got all excited and mis-ID'ed this oddball critter as a Groundcone (boschniakia hookeri), which is quite rare.



Mikey
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