One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A broomrape that is parasitic on the roots of beech trees. Unlike most broomrapes, it has branching stems.
Epifagus virginiana, family Orobanchaceae
- ‘Like Indian pipes, beechdrops have none of the chlorophyll of most plants and thus are not green.’
- ‘Appearing in late summer and fall, beechdrops are common throughout southern Ontario wherever there are beech forests.’
- ‘Peculiar, parasitic beechdrops grow on the roots of beech trees; squawroot, another plant devoid of chlorophyll, gains its nutrition from the leaf litter.’
- ‘The dried stems of beechdrops can often be found through the winter.’
- ‘Like all other members of the Broom-rape family, beechdrops lacks chlorophyll and is wholly parasitic, stealing nutrients from the roots of beech trees.’
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