Candy Cane Plant

The Candy Cane plant (Allotropa virgata)  can be found in the oak, hardwood, and coniferous forests of Vancouver Island. It grows up to 1500 meters in elevation. This is an indicator plant and if you see it, come back in the fall and start looking for pine mushrooms as you will probably find them. They feed primarily on pine mushroom mycelium.  Candy Cane Plant can be used to allow a newbie pine harvester to smell pine mushrooms. If you dig down just below the plant you will find pine mushroom mycelium growing there. Pull up a small piece and let them smell it, they will smell the smell of pine mushrooms.

This plant is called the sugar stick plant as well as the candy cane plant, and it is a parasitic plant much like the Indian pipe plant or the snow plant, or other species of the heath family, the great thing about this plant is its ability to point you to pine mushrooms.

This plant has pink and white striped stems that are covered in white to pink lance-shaped leaves that are short on both the top and bottom but longer towards the middle of the plant. The flowers come in tight groups in the axils of the upper leaves. Each flower has 5 white to pink sepals.

Look for these plants in the spring and mark them with GPS, then come back in the fall, and you will find pines growing. Candy Cane Plants need pine mycelium to grow and will not grow without them.

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