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RE: What is this strange item?

Not alot of info, but here's a link-



-----Original Message-----
From: owner-gardenchat@hort.net [mailto:owner-gardenchat@hort.net]On
Behalf Of Marge Talt
Sent: Monday, May 19, 2003 8:51 PM
To: gardenchat@hort.net
Subject: Re: [CHAT] What is this strange item?

> From: cathy carpenter <cathyc@rnet.com>
> I wonder if it could be one of the saphrophytic (sp?) plants? I
> think it is an Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora) but I think there
> others? These are woodlanders.

Cathy, you're close.  Thanks to the wonders of the net, I now know
what it is!  What I have is squawroot.  It's a native parasitic plant
of the broomrape family, Orobanchaceae, that grows primarily on oak
roots.  The botanical name is Conopholis americana. 

I haven't been able to find a lot of detailed info. about it, but
it's classed as a wildflower and does not harm the oak roots.  Seems
it is found fairly frequently throughout the eastern US.

While the clump I have is right under a small dogwood, it's also
about 8' from a huge oak, and must be sitting right over one of the
roots of that tree.

Strange and wondrous little item that's been driving me nuts for
several years as I periodically searched fungi images for it.  Never
once thought of its being a parasitic plant as I've never run into
one of those before.

Thanks for the tries everybody else who posted.

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
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