Pinedrops getting ready to bloom in ponderosa pine forest at the southwest corner of Pine Mountain, Deschutes National Forest........July 11, 2017.
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.