Thursday, June 24, 2021

Pink pinesap

And where the Candystick grows, pinesap thrives.

Pinesaps, Monotropa hypopitys. With twin flowers.

These were scattered along the trails from the water's edge at Buttle Lake, up past the highway and on to the Lupin Falls above, growing surrounded by clusters of twinflowers.

It's another myco-heterotroph, with no clorophyll, and associated with fungi that derive their nutrients from the roots of the trees above. The Latin name, Monotropa hypopitys, means: Mono = one, tropa = direction, (because all the flowers bend the same way) and hypo = under, pitys (altenate spelling, pithys) = pine, where it grows; in coniferous forests.

One inflorescence on its own. Most of the plant is underground.

The flowers have 4 or 5 petals, forming a tube. All the ones I was able to count had 4.

And because someone's going to ask, yes they are edible. Raw, they are tasteless, but cooked they taste something like asparagus. But why eat them? They're beautiful; isn't that enough?

Donde crece el "Palo de dulce", también está feliz esta planta, Monotropa hypopitys. Hay un buen número creciendo a lo largo del sendero que baja a la orilla del Lago Buttle, y sube el cerro hasta las cataratas Lupin, casi siempre rodeadas de flores gemelas.

Es otra planta micoheterotrófica, sin clorofila, y que obtiene sus nutrientes por medio de hongos que crecen con los árboles coníferos. El nombre científico significa: Mono = solo, tropa = orientación, (porque todas las flores miran hacia el mismo lado) y hypo = bajo, pitys = pinos: el lugar donde crece, en bosques con abetos Douglas y otros pinos.

Cada "planta" visible es solamente la inflorescencia; la mayor parte de la planta permanece bajo tierra.

Las flores, dicen, tienen 4 o 5 pétalos, que forman un tubo. Todas las flores que pude ver tenían solo 4 pétalos.

Y sí, porque me van a preguntar, se puede comer. Cruda, no sabe a nada, pero cocida tiene un sabor a espárragos. Pero más vale dejarlas crecer por su belleza.

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