[The Heath Family in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Pinedrops, Woodland Pinedrops

Pterospora andromedea

Inflorescence of Pinedrops, Woodland Pinedrops: Pterospora andromedea

The photo above shows a close-up of the attractive inflorescence of pinedrops as seen along Rd K6000 below its intersection with Rd K6900 at the southeastern corner of Mt. Adams...........July 10, 2005. Note the numerous glands on the pedicels and stalk.

Pinedrops, Woodland Pinedrops: Pterospora andromedeaCharacteristics:

Pinedrops are an interesting, attractive wildflower species with stout, fleshy stem from 20-120 cm high. The stems are solitary or often in clusters and they are yellowish to reddish brown in color as well as unbranched. The stems are noticeably glandular-pubescent. The leaves are awl-shaped and up to 2-4 cm long with fringed margins.

The numerous flowers are part of a long, loose raceme which is equal in length to the lower stem. The pedicels are slender and decurved and subtended by much-reduced linear bracts. The calyx is about half as long as the corolla and is covered with sticky, gland-tipped hairs. The glabrous corolla is ovoid in shape and is broadest near the base, tapering gradually to the tip. The corolla is 5-8 mm long and pale yellow in color. Plants are saprophytes and lack chlorophyll.


Pinedrops are found in deep humus soils of coniferous forests from the lowlands to well up into the mountains. In the Pacific Northwest, it is often found beneath Ponderosa pines.


Pinedrops may be found from Alaska south to southern California and east to the Atlantic Coast. In the Rocky Mts. it is found southward to Mexico.

It may be found between the elevations of 100'-4000' from near Larch Mt. and Three Corner Rock in the west eastward to the Klickitat River.

Pinedrops, Woodland Pinedrops: Pterospora andromedea

A close-up of the inflorescence of pinedrops as seen along Little Bowman Creek at the Klickitat Wildlife Area, Klickitat County, Washington.......May 30, 2015.

Paul Slichter