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cougarmagic

Crazy alien plant/fungus/organism

What is this?  It is growing in Topanga State Park, in dense oak woodland.  The 'shoots' are about 4" high.  At first I thought, whoah - snow plant HERE?  But the structure is totally different.

Gene

Interesting.  I looked at a lot of California native plants but didn't see anything quite like that.  There are some parasitic plants that grow in a row like these, but most pictures feature flowers not sprouts.

http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/flora/
atomicoyote

Its been a l-o-n-g time since my botany days in college, so I can't be exact without a picture of the flower, but I'm pretty sure its a species of Coral Plant.  It grows in leaf litter under a tree canopy, doesn't have chlorophyll of its own (teh reason for the red color), so it relies on a symbiotic relation with fungi for food.  Nice find.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corallorhiza_striata
Gene

atomicoyote wrote:
Its been a l-o-n-g time since my botany days in college, so I can't be exact without a picture of the flower, but I'm pretty sure its a species of Coral Plant.  It grows in leaf litter under a tree canopy, doesn't have chlorophyll of its own (teh reason for the red color), so it relies on a symbiotic relation with fungi for food.  Nice find.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corallorhiza_striata


I think you have it, there are several variates, an Orchid no less.

Corallorhiza maculata This link has two views of sprouting plants.
http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=e...sp=26&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0,i:88



Corallorhiza striata

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