Hidden Secrets of Parasitic Plants

Hidden Secrets of Parasitic Plants

Dr Tommy Leung has written about a common but mysterious parasite, buried deep in the roots of other trees and plants in Brazil (and also found in other parts of Central and South America). Unlike other plant parasites, the Langsdorffia hypogaea is is wholly dependant on its host. Unless you know what to look for, this parasite will easily escape your gaze; however, once you recognise its red, mushroom-like flowers, you’ll find they are widespread. The flowers only appear during the dry seasons and it is the only external signs of this parasitic plant. Dr Leung writes:

Parasitic plants are important parts of many ecosystems due to the wide range of organisms they interact with. While they can be detrimental to the host plant’s growth and reproduction, they are also a food source for many animals. For most parasitic plants very little is known about their basic natural history, let alone the impact they have on the surrounding environment.

Find out about how this parasitic plant pollinates and its secrets yet to be uncovered by science.

Originally shared by Tommy Leung

Red Flowers And Parasitic Tubers

I’ve written a new Parasite of the Day post! This one is about a type of parasitic plant from Central and South America that lives as a parasitic tuber attached to the roots of its host plant, and sprouts red flowers that pokes out the ground like mushrooms. To read more about this parasitic plant, follow the link below.

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