June 3, 2010
June 3 - Boschniakia hookeri
If you're hiking in western North America and look down and spot a pine cone sitting on its end, take a closer look - it might be Boschniakia hookeri, known as groundcone. These are species of broomrapes, holoparasitic plants with no chlorophyll that depend on plants like alders or huckleberries for water and nutrients. The part that looks like a pinecone can be brown or purple, yellow or red and this is the inflorescence. Native Americans/Canadians sometimes ate the stems of these plants as a snack.