October 24, 2010
October 24 - Lathraea clandestina
Today we have a pretty parasite - Lathraea clandestina, or the Purple Toothwort, is a parasitic plant that uses willows, poplars and alders as its hosts. Its name comes from the fact that its remnant, below-ground and chlorophyll-less leaves resemble teeth. These plants produce quite large fruits for their size, which burst when ripe, sending their tiny seeds off to be carried by rain or other moisture to new hosts. L. clandestina is found throughout Western and Central Europe and seemingly were recently introduced into the U.K. and Ireland.