Epifagus americana, Broomrape family, Orobanchaceae
Parasitic on Beech Tree Roots

Beechdrops (DFF0037)

Beechdrops (DFF0038)
Jian Zhe Li
Beechdrops (DFF0039)

Beechdrops (DFF0040)
These achlorophyllous (lacking chlorophyll) plants get their nourishment by parasitizing the roots of Beech Trees.  The lower flowers are cleistogamous (never opening and self-pollinating) while the upper flowers have a distinct corolla.  This enables the plant to hedge its bets by insuring that there will be a next generation from the cleistogamous flowers while also enjoying the benefits of cross-pollination through the upper flowers should conditions be adequate for them to form and set their seeds.

Nature Photography, Wildlife Photography, Waterfowl Photography and Bird Photography from Marsh, River, Field and Forest Habitats.
All images Copyright © 1999 - by Gerry Gantt, all rights reserved.