Synonyms: Hypopitys americana, Hypopitys fimbriata, Hypopitys insignata, Hypopitys lanuginosa, Hypopitys latisquama, Hypopitys monotropa, Monotropa hypopithys, Monotropa hypopithys ssp. lanuginosa, Monotropa hypopithys var. americana, Monotropa hypopithys var. latisquama, Monotropa hypopithys var. rubra, Monotropa hypopitys, Monotropa lanuginosa, Monotropa latisquama
Pinesap beginning to bloom along the trail into Hellroaring Meadows which is part of the lands the Yakama tribe owns on the east side of Mt. Adams..............August 12,2012.
Lacking chlorophyll as it is a saprophyte, pinesap is an interesting wildflower, especially due to its coloration and nodding flower heads. It is also of interest as it often appears in the bare humus soils in fairly deep shade. Plants have one to several erect and unbranched stems arising from 5-25 cm high. The stems and flowers are yellowish to pink or straw-colored, drying to black after flowering. The leaves are ovate with entire to fringed margins.
The inflorescence is a recurved raceme which becomes erect after bloom. The pedicels are 3-6 mm long while the 2-5 sepals are 5-9 mm long. The 3-5 petals are up to 18 mm long and strongly overlap one another. The individual petals have a small pouch near the inner base and range from glabrous to hairy on one or both surfaces. The 6-10 stamens are shorter than the corolla. The style is hairy while the stigma is slightly lobed an about at the same level as the mouth of the corolla.
Pinesap is found in thick, humus soils of coniferous forests. These forests can be fairly dark since the plant is not green and does little if no photosynthesis, thus requiring little light.
Pinesap may be found from British Columbia south to Mendocino County, California and east to the Atlantic Coast. It is also found in Europe.
The photo above shows pinesap as seen along Trail 96A between Snow Creek Ditch and Little Three creek Lake in the Deschutes NF...............July 16, 1992.