Wednesday, June 23, 2021


In a dry, mostly brown, open Douglas fir forest, a bit of candystriping took me by surprise.

Candystick, Allotropa virgata, Lupin Falls trail.

Candystick, like the coralroot, has no clorophyll; it can't make food from sunlight like the green plants do. It is a mycoheterotroph. (Myco = fungus, hetero = other, different, troph = feeding.) It gets its food from an association with a mushroom that in turn, is attached to the root of a green plant.

Allotropa virgata feeds exclusively on Matsutake mushroom (Tricholoma matsutake) mycelium.(Wikipedia) (That's the delicious and expensive pine mushroom.)
I cropped the photo to show the candy-striping and the cherry-pie filling flowers.

Looks yummy!

Another view of the same plant.

It grows in association with stair-step moss or red-stem feathermoss, which I think is the moss on the rock beside the candystick.


En un bosque seco, casi todo del color café, entre abetos de Douglas, me sorprendió ver estos colores rojo y blanco.

Es una planta "palo de dulce", Allotropa virgata, y crece en el sendero hacia las cataratas Lupin.

Igual que la orquídea Corallorhiza, que he visto recientemente, esta planta no contiene clorofila, y no puede fabricar sus necesidades a base de luz solar, como lo hacen las plantas verdes. Es una planta micoheterotrófica; (mico = hongo, hetero = differente, trofico = nutrientes.) Obtiene su nutrición debido a su asociación con un hongo, el cual asimismo la obtiene por su contacto con la raiz de una planta verde.

Según Wikipedia, Allotropha virgata se alimenta exclusivamente a base del micelio del hongo Tricholoma matsutake. Este es el hongo de pino, delicioso, y muy caro. (Para nosotros, claro está.)

Crece cerca de los musgos "stair step", o el musgo de plumas con tallo rojo, el cual, creo, es el que cubre la roca al lado.

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