Jun 10, 2009

At The Root Of It

Photo by Dr. Kamarudin Mat-Salleh
I don't post enough on plants, so I thought I'd bring you a parasitic one. Say hello to Balanophora fungosa, a parasite that feeds on tree roots. But at least this plant tries to give back to the world by sprouting blossoms. Each flower stalk bears thousands of female flowers (which resemble grains of dust) but only a couple dozen male flowers.

B. fungosa is on several lists of unwanted plants. I can't find much about what they do to tree roots, but I imagine that they are the tree equivalent of toenail fungus. I'm glad toenail fungus doesn't send up flower stalks.

5 comments:

April Lorier said...

Ok, officially yucky! Looks almost human, doesn't it?

LisaL said...

I'm about to get crude here in a min.. so I apologize in advance...

But it looks a whole lot like uhm..... weird testicles. o_O

Denita TwoDragons said...

THANK YOU, LISA L! I was trying not to say the same thing! Somebody put a Speedo over that thing!

--TwoDragons

Anonymous said...

If that looks like testicles, you ladies have been lookin' for love in all the wrong places...

Lentzie said...

I agree, Anonymous, proper testicles don't look anything like this. I'm someone who sees all sorts of inappropriate resemblances in otherwise perfectly appropriate things, too, but I see nothing testicle-esque here...