Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Coastal BC Plants: Pinesap

Pinesap

This is the second time that an oddball plant named the Pinesap has sprouted up on the hill near where our old (no longer operational) outhouse is located. Another name for the Pinesap is Indian Pipe.

Unlike most plants, the Pine Sap (Monotropa hypopithys) does not contain chlorophyll to convert sunlight into energy. The Pinesap gets its nutrients from organic matter in the soil and is a parasite of plant roots (much like the Vancouver Groundcone). It flowers from June through October. In the summer, the blooms tend to be yellow and in the fall, they tend to be more reddish. As you can see, mine is the summer variety.

For plant identification I like to use Plants of Coastal British Columbia by Jim Pojar and Andy MacKinnon. It includes trees, shrubs, wildflowers, aquatics, grasses, ferns, mosses, lichens and, of course, some oddball plants like the Pine Sap. -- Margy

12 comments:

  1. I wonder if I could find one of these around here it is so cool.

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  2. Many years ago I remember seeing an illustration of a Pinesap and this is my first ever seeing a photograph of one. So much more prettier than what I can remember at how one looked in a book then. Thank you for sharing. I follow your blog from ABC Wednesday and please come on over and check out my Letter P post too.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by for ABC Wednesday. It's a fun place to share. I'll be over soon to check you post out as well. - Margy

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  3. It looks like an asparagus stalk with a big fluffy tassel. I wonder if it's edible. Not that I would. Well, maybe, I'd give it a try, if it's edible. :-)
    The View from the Top of the Ladder

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    1. I looked it up, and the views online is probably yes, but I wouldn't try something I wasn't positively sure about. - Margy

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  4. How interesting, it is an unusual looking plant, reminds me a bit of a flowering cactus. Are they capable of killing a tree, as they feed on tree roots?
    Happy weekend!
    Best wishes,
    Di.
    ABCW team.

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    1. They feed on decaying matter, so I don't believe a tree would be damaged. It was also all by itself, so I don't think it took up too many nutrients from the soil. - Margy

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  5. Interesting plant! I have many in my garden that I do not know what it is. Need to check out the book you suggest. Your plant looks very unusual.

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    1. It's my favourite go to guide at the cabin. When I get to town, Google search for images also helps. - Margy

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  6. Most PECULIAR PLANT!

    ROG, ABCW

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  7. That's really fun! I wonder if the outhouse had anything to do with it?!
    How do you do your thing at the boathouse? I don't remember!

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    1. Maybe the fertile soil around the outhouse did encourage it, I don't know. After the outhouse we switched to a compost toilet inside the float cabin. Much easier on us and the environment. - Margy

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