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Squawroot /Bear Corn

Conopholis americana

Description:

Spike shaped, growing on forest floor. Apparently bloomed prior to my finding it, but there is one tiny tip still with set of bloom: third picture. Not fungus, but a plant that doesn’t make chlorophyll but lives parasitically off host tree root.

Habitat:

Forest area. Supposed to be on root of oak. None nearby. Sometimes uses beech as host, there is one of those nearby. But the tree they are surrounding is neither of those two.

Notes:

enjoyed by bears who are emerging from hibernation. Used medicinally by Native Americans. Excellent vitamin content, but reputedly not tasty

1 Species ID Suggestions

Squawroot
Conopholis americana Conopholis americana - Wikipedia


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2 Comments

cobalttoad
cobalttoad 4 months ago

Thank you so much DanDoucette! I’m reading about the squawroot, sounds like the right ID. Next year I’ll have to take a look earlier in the season so I can see it “in bloom”

dandoucette
dandoucette 4 months ago

Pretty cool spotting, this is a parasitic plant that has already finished flowering.

cobalttoad
Spotted by
cobalttoad

Harriman, Tennessee, United States

Spotted on May 17, 2021
Submitted on May 17, 2021

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