This is the plant geek portion of our programming…
On June 06th of 2010 I was searching for fungi on the trails of Hot Springs National Park and I took a photo that I labeled “Fungi Flowers”. The past four years I have searched the Upper Dogwood trail for another sighting of the unusual flowers. On June 17th of 2014 I was bless with a eureka moment and found a cluster of the same plant at a later growth stage. After further investigation I discovered they are Pinesap (Monotropa hypopitys) a Parasitic Wildflower.
Location: Hot Springs National Park – Garland County, Arkansas
Trail: Upper Dogwood
Years: 2010, 2014
GPS (2014 only):
The USDA cutbacks mean they no longer have anyone accepting images and data regarding rare and endangered plants. According to the data on their site Pinesap (Monotropa hypopitys) has not been verified as sighted in Garland County Arkansas. http://plants.usda.gov/java/county?state_name=Arkansas&statefips=05&symbol=MOHY3 I am creating this posting as a record for later use to update their information.
I have sighted and photographed Pinesap (Monotropa hypopitys) twice on the same trail in separate years but only have GPS data for 2014.
Test below is from the USDA website:
Monotropa hypopitys – Pinesap, Dutchman’s Pipe
Pinesap is an herbaceous perennial wildflower with a wide geographic distribution throughout the United States and Canada. However, Pinesap is a rarely encountered wildflower.
“Monotropa hypopitys (Monotropa – once turned; hypopitys – under the pine or fir from its habitat) ranges in height from 10 to 35 centimeters. The entire plant is a pale creamy white, coral pink or red. The leaves are scale-like and occur along the flower stalk (peduncle). The inflorescence is a raceme of 2 to 11 flowers at the tip of the flower stalk. Upon emerging from the ground, the flowers are pendant. As the anthers and stigma mature, the flowers are spreading to all most perpendicular to the stem. The fruit is a capsule. As the capsule matures, the flowers become erect. Once ripened, seed is released through slits that open from the tip to the base of the capsules. The plant is persistent after the seeds have dispersed.”