"So, naturalists observe, a flea has smaller fleas that on him prey; and these have smaller still to bite ’em; and so proceed ad infinitum."
- Jonathan Swift
September 1, 2010
September 1 - Dactylanthus taylorii
Dactylanthus taylorii is a holoparasitic plant, meaning that it does not possess any chlorophyll of its own and derives all of its nutrients from its host plant, which is commonly the Seven-finger (Schefflera digitata). When infected, the host tree will produce a malformation, or burl, that resembles a wooden rose, hence its common name, the Wood Rose. The flowers are pollinated by the Lesser Short-tailed Bat (Mystacina tuberculata), which are drawn to its odor and abundant nectar. This species, native to New Zealand, is sadly critically endangered there and is the subject of aggressive conservation plans.